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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Coburg Community Garden Update - July 2010

Collingwood Children's Farm allotment gardens
We were under no illusions when we started that this will be a long, slow journey and unfortunately, as much as we may have hoped for something dramatic to happen early, we've taken small steps forward in our first few months. We're just plugging away, determined and undeterred.

After the Leader article in May, we enjoyed a flurry of enquiries and expressions of support (well, about 15) which was reassuring and they continue to come in a few months on. We've been contacted by people who want advice, others who want a a plot, some who think we're doing something worthwhile and some people who want to help.

Our project team has now grown from three to seven (which is fantastic). Along the way, we've added (to a couple of keen gardeners and a permaculture designer) some lobbying/campaigning experience, professional horticulture background, some public housing community garden experience as well as more keen gardeners.
  • We've met twice since May (meeting again next week) and we're gradually revealing each person's skills and experience,
  • We've established contact with Moreland Council and found that they are preparing a policy on community gardens (although what that really means we are attempting to clarify),
  • We set up a website for the project team to track tasks, communicate and share information - to help us get better organised,
  • We've been gathering supplementary resource material to support each of the various key "planks" of our case for community gardens. This will be useful if we need to prepare a formal proposal at some stage (this, I suspect, is almost inevitable),
  • The number of locations on our map has been growing,
  • We've visited a couple of potential locations.
We expect this will take time (possibly several years) to achieve.  If we want it to last, we need to do it right. In the meantime, we'll continue to post updates and items that we feel support our project or that may be of interest to people who share our goals. 

What can you do?
Want to get involved? Get in touch with us.
Send us anything you think might support our case.

Thanks for your continued interest and support.

Mark Sanders
Coburg Community Gardening

Farmers of the urban footpath.....

Ever eyed off the nature strip as a potential garden and considered making it pay its way?
Fed up with mowing that green bit out the front that doesn't even belong to you?

This piece from Australian City Farms and Community Gardens Network tackles every angle in a balanced way and gives you the best chance of keeping your efforts in tact. Well worth a read.

Check out the Moreland council policy before you start.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Labor in Moreland - statement for community gardens

From Labor in Moreland 2008 – 2012, Building Community in Moreland Page 15

("Labor's vision for the City of Moreland..." )

Building a sustainable community
Labor in Moreland has led the way in putting in place programs to promote a more sustainable community and will continue to do so.
On council we have developed a Moreland Climate Action Plan, which will be implemented.

A Labor Council will
- reduce Council greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2010 and community emissions by 20 percent by 2010
- in partnership, implement the Coburg Solar City project
- reduce council fleet emissions by 10 percent per annum
- retrofit Moreland's street lights with energy efficient globes
- continue to support popular programs such as CERES, Moreland Energy Foundation, Community Power, Sustainability Street and community education programs
- support new programs designed to encourage a whole of community approach to sustainability
- support food security projects and investigate the role community gardens could play in providing a more sustainable local food base. A food security taskforce will be initiated and supported.

Coburg Garden Space (AKA Kildonan garden)

The Coburg Garden Space is located beside the Kildonan Uniting Church at 512 Sydney Road.

The run an afterschool program for "children from local primary schools to learn about plants, food and the environment and the garden's role in health and nutrition" and say that "attendance by regular volunteers from business and industry has found the environment great for team building and regularly return to continue their involvement and support."

Future plans for development of the Coburg Garden Space include:
  • City Sustainable Garden, demonstrating ways suburban gardeners can have a sustainable, long surviving garden in these times of drought. The garden will showcase environmentally friendly plants and techniques, such as water tanks and drought resistant plants.
  • Diverse Cultures Herb Garden, showcasing the various herbs used in culturally diverse cuisines. The various demographic populations of the Moreland area will feature strongly as the basis for this herb garden.
  • Tea Break Pavillion, a restful spot to sit and have a cup of tea, and enjoy the surroundings. This facility will also be available for use as a function or meeting room space for various groups in the community.
  • Future Outlook Orchard, highlighting orchard techniques and fruit bearing trees of the various cultures and demographics of the Moreland region.
  • Education and Learning Garden, which will expand upon the afterschool care program, and provide the opportunity for local primary and secondary school students to learn about plants, food and the environment and the garden's role in health and nutrition.
  • CALD Community Kitchen, aimed at newly arriving and developing community groups, offering them a space to prepare, cook and share their food and cultures in large community gatherings.
  • Plant Nursery Plot, where plants will be propagated and made available for retail sales, providing vocational and educational training opportunities for participants from various Work for the Dole schemes.

City of Yarra community gardens activity/position

City of Yarra established a Community Gardens Advisory Committee last year to deliver recommendations for council consideration in August 2010.

They plan to establish 5 gardens in Yarra by 2012 although they decided against the site in Hardy Gallagher reserve in Princes Hill or the George St Fitzroy sites that were proposed.

They also have a useful FAQ about community gardens.