A community garden is a single piece of land gardened by a group of people. The garden may consist of individual plots (sometimes called allotments) and/or areas that are gardened communally.
Many WIC members are interested in participating in community gardens, or at least finding out more. Such gardens provide an opportunity to share gardening knowledge and work in a sociable environment. It often leads to sharing seeds, produce and recipes - made all the more exciting when so many different ethnicities with our traditional plants and cuisines are working together!
We are most likely to maintain involvement in a community garden if it is close to where we live. There are a number of community gardens with membership open to the general public already in existence in Hamilton and many would welcome more members. There are also a number of groups considering starting community gardens in the area.
So that you can find out about the gardens already running that you may want to join and also to learn from their experiences, we are organising a Waikato Community Garden Network Meeting on the afternoon of Thursday 22 September in Frankton, Hamilton. More details will follow - watch this discussion page...
Some of the groups that joined WIC have their own land, and we are working one by one to help them develop their gardens. The first is in Tokoroa.
Most WIC members live in the Nawton area of Hamilton, where there is no existing community garden. The Salvation Army in nearby Grandview (where some of our Grow Your Own Vegetables From Seed workshops were held) was thinking about starting a community garden when we approached them about their land: we are now looking to work together on a joint community garden project - watch this space!
Photo: Katherine Hay of the Waikato Environment Centre talking about community gardens at our first WIC meeting. (Jovi, HMS)
Shade House at Grandview Community Garden
Our new shade house built by gardeners and volunteers is full of vegetable seedlings. Garden members sowed lettuce, spinach, cabbage, leeks, cauliflower and choi sum in late January. Many are now ready to plant out.
Our seedlings are watered by a home made 'capillary mat' system. The water tank drips from a tap at a constant rate onto the synthetic blanket. The pots of seedlings draw up their water from the damp blanket underneath them.