When we were kids, my brothers and I were initiated to the pleasures of gardening in either disciplinary or mercenary manner; weeding or mowing the lawn was punishment or done for a pocketful of coins. Our wise parents knew that garden duty serves the double purpose of keeping kids occupied for hours during the weekend and long holidays as well as creating a healthy bond with mother earth or Papatuanuku.
Grown-up now, my bonding with nature has remained a bit superficial. Most of my working life I’ve lived in cities with sometimes no more than a balcony garden available to fuss over. But cities have parks and botanical gardens and more often than not communal gardens.
If, like me, you have brown fingers but you experience that itching springtime yearning to get your hands dirty, now is good to take up a healthy hobby that serves an honourable purpose: Community Gardening.
Considering the disgraceful truth that the gap between haves and have-nots is growing, community gardening is one of those uplifting trends that can help bridge the divide. What is there not to like; growing fruit and vegies and beautiful flowers in a public space and learning from each other while being involved in an outdoor activity that is suitable for all ages! Most larger towns have listed projects you can find out about from your city council.
The Auckland Council has a Teaching Gardens project for those interested in learning some basic horticulture husbandry, In smaller towns community groups, schools or churches are often the driving force behind these initiatives to help everyone to be are able to grow your own fruit and vegetables. If you don’t find a project near you on the links mentioned below, you could drop by at the community house, the council or at a school or garden centre and chances are they’ll be able to refer you to something someone started.
As with most volunteer activities, you may find that projects get started and then wither when the initiators have moved on. That might be the cue for you to rally together a couple of other GrownUps who have time on their hands – why not help start-up a community plot? Herbs and easy vegies are always a good starting point and here are a few website to help you find if a community garden is already happening near you or how to go about starting one.
If you don’t find a project near you on the links mentioned below, you could drop by at the community house, the council or at a school or garden centre and chances are they’ll be able to refer you to something someone started.
By Monica Louis. Read more here.