Resident Stories & Competitions
08 September 2021

Local Green Thumbs and Their Community Veggie Gardens

Within the Hometown Australia Communities there are many avid gardeners. If there is one thing these green thumbs have in common, it is the love they have tending to their community veggie patches!
Some of our local residents have found their community veggie garden as a great way to enjoy some fresh air and create friendships through a common interest. Below are some of the faces involved in their community veggie gardens.

Bayside Community, Brisbane

For almost five years Alan Murphy and his wife Denise along with a small group of residents, have enjoyed tending to the Bayside Community veggie garden in Queensland. With spring right around the corner, Alan has been busy building up the veggie beds with fresh manure and hunting for the perfect seedlings.

“We have had such good success with growing sweet corn over the last three years, in fact one year the corn grew to 6 ft. Our eggplants are growing like mad at the moment and so is the broccoli,” said Alan.

Every day, Alan and Denise head down to the veggie patch to water, weed and tend to the garden.

“There is another resident who also enjoys being in the garden. He broke his leg a couple of months ago, so I would help take him to the garden so he can water his veggies. I went and got him fresh manure and placed it on his plots, I like to help as much as I can,” said Alan.

Whilst both Alan and Denise enjoying eating meat, you are sure to find fresh produce from the veggie garden being cooked in their kitchen!

Boronia Range, NSW

Limes, lemons, lettuce, parsley, and avocados – these are just some of the wonders you will find in the Boronia Range Community veggie garden in New South Wales.

In an initiative led by the Happy Hour Club and the Social Club, the veggie garden came to life three years ago. The garden has been cleverly designed to be more accessible, allowing for wheelers between tubs and a higher height to avoid residents needing to bend over.

Although the weather is still cold, you can find Helen Hodgson, along with her fellow green thumbs tending to the veggie garden on most days.

“We are fairly keen gardeners, so it is nice to have a veggie patch that other residents can become involved in, if they like. Everyone is welcome to pick and use the produce. Leafy greens grow really well, but you have to get in quick if you want silver beets because it is a favourite amongst the residents,” said Helen.

With spring around the corner, we look forward to seeing the Boronia Range veggie garden in full bloom, baring all its glorious fruits.

Redlands, Brisbane

At 9am on Friday mornings, it is not uncommon to find the Redlands Community gardening group busily tending to the community veggie patch. Starting as a small project the Community Manager, Sharon White, helped residents of the Queensland based community grow from what once was a small veggie patch, into a flourishing haven filled with herbs and vegetables.

“We have all sorts of herbs growing such as garlic, ginger, turmeric, chilli, mint not to mention the veggies we have including lettuce, capsicum, tomato, beetroot, carrots, lemons and lime to name a few,” said Sharon.

The gardening group have cleverly introduced an ecofriendly compost system. By installing plastic tubes directly into the garden, residents can rid of waste in a sustainable way.

“What is so wonderful about the veggie garden is any of the residents are welcome to enjoy the fresh veggies and herbs. Many residents pick the produce from the garden to use in their freshly home cooked meals,” said Sharon.

Banksia Waters, NSW

Twenty years in the making! The Banksia Waters Community veggie garden has been a long-standing part of the community, with many residents enjoying the fruits of their labour.

Ross Davis is one of the resident garden gurus, who along with the gardening group have been helping to look after the community veggie garden for many years. Best known amongst the residents as ‘Gardening with Ross,’ Ross has an impressive 77 years’ experience in gardening. Starting in his Grandmothers garden during the war in 1943, Ross is now a life member of the Tambourine Garden Society and was the Vice President of the Organic Grower on the Gold Coast.

“There is a small group of us who are pretty experienced gardeners and then there are other residents who enjoy learning. I never say I know everything because I’m always prepared to learn from others,” said Ross.

There isn’t much that doesn’t grow in the veggie garden at some point throughout the year.

“We can grow leeks, cabbages, beans, broad beans, pineapples, parsnip, carrots, tomatoes, celery, rhubarb – all sorts of things grow in our garden all year round,” said Ross.

The garden also has an impressive selection of herbs including parsley, chives, thyme, rosemary, and mint, to name a few.

“Not long ago, I helped one of my neighbours plant potatoes. When it came time to harvest, she was over the moon with the large potatoes she was met with. It is always rewarding when you put in the hard work and are met with great results,” said Ross.

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