Digging in for Raglan’s community gardens

Slip on your gardening gloves and dig out your shovels for Raglan’s community garden working bee on Saturday, November 4 at 9.30am.

Located behind the police station in Wi Neera St, the community garden, originally started by Solscape yoga instructor Venu Krsna Das, is once again getting cultivating after a few quiet years.

Whaingaroa Environment Centre team kickstarted the project with a community meeting several weeks ago and the working bee at the plot will make headway into getting the once-loved community space ready for sowing.

Not just a space for growing food, the vision is for the community-owned project is to provide a sustainable gardening model, support a heritage seed bank, share and learn new skills and provide a gathering place for the community – to name a few.

The initial meeting was met with enthusiasm with around 20 keen locals having input into the project.

The ‘Garden Guardians’ working group led by Stacey and Juliana Albertonia will oversee the project and continue the groundswell for the garden.

Juliana is excited about the shared learning that will happen in this space.

“There is a lot of knowledge in our community,” she says.

Not a massive site, the community garden will be manageable and functional, says WEC coordinator Stacey Hill.

“This will be a model of what can be done in someone’s own backyard.”

The initial plan by permaculture experts, WEC founding member Liz Stanaway and Solscape head gardener Shai Brod, will be a six- month concept to get the garden growing.

“Then it will be over to what the community wants from there,” Stacey says.

Initial thought on how the crop will be divvied include free pickings for the community garden workers, and Stacey insists the garden’s ethos is based on affordability.

“Growing food shouldn’t be expensive,” she says. “The community gardens will be a place where everyone can learn how to grow healthy organic food themselves”

A local seedbank is also being revived at WEC – they are keen to hear from any keen gardeners who have a source of heritage seeds they could share with the project.

Stacey and Juliana would also love to hear from volunteers willing to spend some time at the garden in any capacity.

Head to the community garden behind the police station on Wi Neera St for a working bee on Saturday, November 4 at 9.30am – bring tools and gloves if you have them, a water bottle and wear closed shoes.

For more information email envirocentre@whaingaroa.org.nz.

Janine Jackson