Growing food brings people from all walks of life together. Whilst everyone is excited about the food produced, the positive connections formed within these communities are enviable. Darling explores some local groups.
There’s no place more beautiful than Mort Bay Community Garden in Balmain. Sitting near the foreshore, this dedicated group work hard to generate a bumper crop each season. Gardener, Michelle French says “The anticipated snap of a fresh bean is a great motivation to keep us going through long periods of preparation and cultivation. We often share a plate and a chat at the end of our working bees. And when we’re not sharing veggies, we’re exchanging cooking and preserving tips. It’s great to swap recipes and to think laterally about what you can do with a particular plant – we’ve lost count of the different versions of pesto our members have invented!”
Whilst gardening is the focus, community gardens are generally hubs for a range of activities – learning and education, playgroups, arts and creative activities, preparing and sharing food, community events, celebrations and social enterprise.
The Lilyfield located Glover Community Garden have regular working bees, and at a recent Open Day many local families visited the garden and enjoyed exploring the vast range of edible plants plants. One of the highlights of this garden are the chooks. The recent chook naming competition was particularly popular with local children and all the feathery friends received new names. If you’re in the area, Henny Penny, Midnight, Speckles and Olive would love a visit.
The recently formed Organic Buyers Group in Rozelle has a goal to make organic fruit and vegetables more affordable. Every Thursday the group come together at Rozelle Neighbourhood Centre. The informal setting allows members and families to connect. “We make this possible by buying organic produce in bulk and each buyer helps to divvy up their box. The contents of the boxes change from week to week, based on what’s in season so it suits households that like to be creative in the kitchen”, said co-founder and local resident Liz Harry.
The group is a lovely example of community coming together over food and appreciating what’s in season. Visit rozelle.organicbuyers.group to find out more.