Ararat growers transform garden
Ararat Food Growers have been busy at their primary Ararat Community Garden site behind J-ward, preparing communal garden beds and allocating private plots.
Members have worked over the six communal beds with a ‘double reach, no dig’ method to maximise ground space and minimise movement.
Ararat Food Growers started late last year when like-minded individuals realised a community need and that a previous Ararat Community Garden site had been vacant for almost five years.
Carolyn and Phil Gemmel, armed with a deep understanding of diverse permacultural practices and also with a background in business administration, quickly incorporated the Ararat Food Growers based on all involved.
Other founding members include Leslie Sladdin, Ray Sullivan and Bernard Quince who used their strengths to advantage.
Leslie strikes cuttings, Ray is a seed saver and Bernard provides a weekly round-up of activities on social media.
The group’s pet projects include a Butterfly Garden, headed by Bernard.
“Most people don’t realise the potential for butterflies in a garden,” he said.
“They are a good indication of other insects, and with insects, we get birds.”
Bernard has planted swan bush and budelias to attract monarch butterflies and is maintaining a patch of stinging nettles for swallowtail butterflies, to lay their eggs under the nettles’ leaves.
Growers president Carolyn is also determined to cover the rock pile with ‘green’.
She is growing donated herbs and succulents on a blue-stone pile to create a ‘biological masterpiece’.
Sightings of juvenile blue-tongue lizards suggest there is a breeding population living among the rocks.
Ararat Food Growers opens Ararat Community Garden between 9am and noon Wednesday to Friday and other times by arrangement. People seeking information can call Bernard Quince on 0417 538 125.