Friday, July 16, 2010

What is the Community Garden project?

The Food Security Branch of the Street Life Committee of the FGCA is currently working on creating a community garden in Robert Porter Park in the Fall of 2010. This project has been ongoing since the summer of 2009, and will include a commons garden for public use as well as a portion of the gardens devoted to allotments.

The commons will include various nut- and fruit-bearing trees and shrubs as well as native plants and herbaceous perennials, including an herb garden and medicinal plants. The commons is designed using permaculture principles that mimic the ecosystem creating a supportive natural environment for plants to grow and thrive.

The goal is to increase food yield over time while decreasing maintenance needs. The allotments will serve community members who wish to garden yet do not have access to garden space. The allotment holders will bring sustainability to the project as they will be required to work a few hours a month maintaining the commons area.

The project also includes a seating area that will be crafted in a traditional 'cob' style. The bench area will be made using natural materials of clay, mud, straw, and wood. This project has been successfully undertaken by various other communities in Victoria, such as the Banfield Commons in Vic West and the Michigan Street Allotment gardens in James Bay.

Currently the group is doing outreach with the community and in contact with Parks Victoria to establish a suitable agreement. The proposal will then go to the City of Victoria for final approval.

An Open House is scheduled for public input at the beginning of August; stay tuned for this date. Community members are also welcome to give input and state any concerns or ideas to

The Community Gardens hope to enhance the current use of Robert Porter Park and offer a place for community members to gather, share, and learn skills. The group also wishes to increase Fairfield's food security for future generations.

Do contact us with any questions, concerns, or ideas, or if you're interested in participating in the project in any way.

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