There are few greater pleasures than planting a seed and watching it grow to maturity. Many people love to garden, and the residents of Richmond and its surrounding suburbs are no exception. A short stroll around our streets will demonstrate this with the variety of shrubs, trees, flowering plants and even vegetables that can be seen flourishing in front yards. The benefits of gardening abound: exercise, fresh air, sustainable living, fresh produce and where our Richmond Community Learning Centre Gardening Together group is concerned, a sense of community and inclusion.
Participants meet twice a month at Burnley Backyard under the guidance of volunteer group leader, Erin, who teaches them how to maintain a healthy garden, and where learning takes place by doing. It’s a great opportunity for those who don’t have the space at home to garden to still experience the joy of growing and eating fresh produce, while having a chat with other like-minded locals.
Amy-Kate is a relatively new member to volunteering and Gardening Together, who works as a school-based graphic designer. She and her partner (as well as being avid movie-watchers) both enjoy the exercise of the regular Gardening together times, and often are surprised by the achievements of the group at the end of a session. They originally became involved because they were keen on using the compost bins at Burnley Backyard but their interest grew into joining more of the gardening activities. Amy-Kate lists some of the perks for her as being, ‘Community engagement and meeting people, learning new skills and promoting sustainability through growing your own food.’
Ingrid moved to Richmond two and a half years ago and found swapping a large garden for a much smaller one somewhat challenging. She really missed the opportunity to compost and hated the thought of her fruit and veggie scraps going to landfill. Like Amy-Kate, Ingrid was initially attracted to the composting program at Burnley Backyard, and her involvement evolved into becoming a member of Gardening Together. She sees leader Erin as a real asset to the group, being very organised and great at planning, an essential skill to enable availability of vegetables in each season. Ingrid enjoyed watching the abundance of summer produce growing, and found being able to make several batches of her own pesto from the basil, particularly satisfying. She also volunteered for the watering roster which allowed her to keep an eye of the well-being of the veggies plus have a chat to the chooks which also inhabit Burnley Backyard.
According to Ingrid, ‘The gardening group is a great way to stay connected to the soil, learn from each other and enjoy some super-fresh produce.’
If you would like to know more, Erin can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Oren on 9428 9901.