What does the lively Costa Georgiadis and a new community group in Geelong have in common? They are both passionate about growing veggies, developing sustainable practices and lifestyles, promoting health and wellbeing, engaging with the community and having fun.
I am referring to Ashby Community Garden Inc., whose Working Group comprises an enthusiastic array of residents beavering away to make their dream come true – a new community garden in the Geelong West/North Geelong area.
After connecting on a Transition Streets webinar, they have been spreading the word to gauge interest. The group has been inundated with responses from people wanting to grow fresh local food, develop practical skills and provide healthy, inexpensive food options in a space where they can connect with others, create art, hold events, listen to music and relax.
Marge explains that ACG’s vision is that it will be a space where everyone is welcome, a place of growing produce and healthy food, music, sculpture, mosaics, art, literature; everyone will bring their own special thing to the garden and create a really unique community.
Measures such as creating a habitat that improves the ecology of the area and following organic gardening practices which will sustain soils and plants, will assist in countering the negative effects of climate change.
The garden will be a focal point for the community and a space where the sharing of ideas, knowledge, skills, work and camaraderie will be encouraged.
Wendi, who has moved from interstate, is super excited about the community garden as she just wants to connect with this community.
Kate is keen to learn new skills in the garden while Deb is really excited about having art and music and making the space beautiful.
President David Chalmers sees the value of bringing people together in the local growing of food, especially after being deprived of so much during the pandemic. He describes COVID-19 as a gamechanger whose quiet time mixed with good ideas and initiatives then sprinkled with motivation, will allow us to flourish after being fertilised, incubated and finally hatched.
“We can all see what this community garden could become, so it’s up to us to make it a dazzling example of what the little people can do when they have space, motivation and opportunity.”
Part of the dream is to create a multi-purpose facility and gathering place where people can enjoy shared communal spaces with a herb garden, indigenous plantings, workshop area, playground, pizza oven and other things identified by members and supporters. It will feature a mix of individual plots and communal plots.
David enthuses, “Ashby Community Garden is our place of cultivation where local lovers of life and nature can exuberate in their healthy fun of growing plants to share. The wonderful thing about plants is they don’t discriminate but grow and glow to reward your care and effort.”
Through its efforts and commitment, Ashby Community Garden aims to foster community pride and spirit, inspire social change and have a positive impact by making our community a more vibrant, inclusive and welcoming place in which to live.
This dynamic group of avid community-minded gardeners, musicians and artists is advocating for a new community garden in Weddell Road, next to MACS (Multicultural Aged Care Services) in North Geelong.
If you support the idea of Ashby Community Garden and would like to join us on a journey of creativity and adventure, send an email to AshbyCommunityGarden@gmail.com.
Watch their inspiring video on the Humans in Geelong Online Expo 2020 on our Humans in Geelong Youtube, Sunday Oct 11 or ongoing.
Story: Rosemary Nugent