Permaculture Centre teacher Sara Ashdown, Fraser Coast Multicultural Respite Service co-ordinator Cathy Bohanna-Martin and Transition Town Hervey Bay founder Maggie John at The Cottage.
Permaculture Centre teacher Sara Ashdown, Fraser Coast Multicultural Respite Service co-ordinator Cathy Bohanna-Martin and Transition Town Hervey Bay founder Maggie John at The Cottage. Daniel Tweed

Grow your own food - it's fun!

HELP reduce the Fraser Coast’s carbon footprint by getting your hands dirty with a spot of gardening.

Transition Town Hervey Bay and Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre is aiming to put life back into the Multicultural Community Garden at The Cottage.

There are plans to grow all sorts of vegetables, fruit and herbs at the Pialba centre, adding to the existing banana trees and grape vines.

“We want to get an atmosphere where people can share recipes, ideas and plants; it’s a real social thing,” said Transition Town Hervey Bay founder Maggie John.

“You don’t even have to be a good gardener,” she added.

The garden was opened in 2001 and over the years has been tended by numerous neighbourhood centre volunteers.

But the centre’s Fraser Coast Multicultural Respite Service co-ordinator, Cathy Bohanna-Martin, said the help offered came in ebbs and flows with volunteers coming and going.

Currently there are two volunteers who maintain the garden and Ms John has recently planted sweet corn and tomato seedlings.

The women would love to be able to again make chilli sauce and jams from the garden so they have organised a meet at the Peters Lane, Pialba, cottage next year.

They are welcoming anybody interested in helping with the garden to join them on January 8 between 7am and 10am.

To cover the cost of insurance everyone who attends will be required to pay $5 to join the Neighbourhood Centre.

People are also being asked to take a plate of morning tea to share and, if they can, bring their own garden tools.

The aim of the garden is to encourage residents to be more self-sufficient to reduce food miles and lessen dependency on oil. It is also hoped to encourage water harvesting and recycling.

On the day people will learn about organic gardening, composting and worm farming, growing and using fresh herbs, creating a permaculture garden and seasonal cooking.

It is part of Transition Town’s Low Carbon Diet initiative.

“An increasing world population will see food security concerns become more prominent, so knowing how to supplement your family’s diet by producing your own fruit, vegetables, poultry and eggs will become more important than it is now,” Ms John said.

“If everyone can just make one meal a week from their garden it saves a lot of carbon.”



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