Ararat grow­ers trans­form gar­den

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

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.

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