Locals rescue community garden

Pitching in . . . At work in Taieri Community Garden are (from left) volunteer Nikki Miller, of Wingatui, co-co-ordinator Margaret Scott, of East Taieri, volunteers Nica Miller (9) and Vic McDonald and co-co-ordinator Jan French, all of Mosgiel. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

A call is being answered as the Taieri Community Garden gets flooded with support.

In the Taieri Times in October last year, garden co-co-ordinators Margaret Scott and Jan French reopened the garden and made a call to the community for support to revitalise it.

Mrs French said the garden – on a blockEast Taieri Church in Cemetery Rd – opened in July 2005 and was abandoned after the site was repeatedly hit by flooding.

Since reopening, about 15 volunteers had transformed a “jungle” to a garden and had already harvested produce including beans, celery, cherry tomatoes and silverbeet.

The transformation includes the building of nine raised garden beds.

The beds were necessary because the water table was high and the area was flood-prone.

More sleepers were needed to make more beds so seeds could be sown for winter crops, such as broccoli, cauliflower and lettuces.

Ms Scott said concrete tubs were also needed.

The tubs would be used to grow produce and to act as flood protection.

Since reopening, an old fence had been torn down and the footprint of the garden had increased by more than half.

She thanked the church for the use of the land and the Saddle Hill Foundation Trust for its support with administration.

She was also grateful to the Mosgiel District Lions Club for giving $380, which was used to buy macrocarpa sleepers to build garden beds.

Many organisations had given free goods, such as fish carcasses for fertiliser, and services, such as lawnmowing, but Ms Scott declined to list them due to fear of offending anyone by forgetting to mention them.

All the supporters would be invited to a morning tea at the garden later in the year, after the new shed and a rabbit-proof fence were installed.

Inside the shed would be a whiteboard listing the produce ready for harvest and the work that needed to be done.

Other plans include installing a “kai cupboard”to put excess garden produce on the side of Cemetery Rd to share with the local community.

The garden was open to the community between 12.30pm and 2.30pm on Wednesdays and 9.30am

Volunteer Nica Miller (9) said a reason she volunteered was she enjoyed eating fresh peas.

Volunteer Vic McDonald said he had a vegetable garden at home so he did not harvest anything from the community garden.

He volunteered because it was a chance “to do something for somebody else”.