Camden Community Garden and Our Community.
As our garden grows so does visitation and community engagement, a huge part of this garden is about connecting local people, wether they have a common interest or not in gardening, but using our garden as a conduit to do so. Building Community is a common goal and we are continually engaging members from within and beyond our boundaries, below is some of the work currently being done by Camden Community Garden.
Potatoes going in back in september.Narellan Congregational Community Services (NCCS) potatoes for christmas. Earlier in the year the team from NCCS had a bit of a visit to "The Big Spud" at Robertson, it was a great chance to get out and at the same time pick up some spuds for the community garden. they were consequently planted by half a dozen attendees and staff, and complememted by another 20kg planted by the community gardeners themselves, the aim being that they would be harvested in time for Christmas and the end of year dinner, and that they were. Three varieties were planted and the Norland Reds were perfect for roasting. In all enough were harvested for about 80 people in attendance for the end of year Christmas Lunch and there are still plenty in the ground for subsequent dinners.
Caravan Park Residents planting out raised beds.Caravan Park Residents Group, over the space of 3 months in 2012 Caravan Park residents from 2 local caravan parks engaged in planting, growing and learning more about gardening under the expert guidance of local Annette Arany, although the project was only 3 months, one of the great outcomes was that although alot of the residents were from the same caravan park they didnt see each other alot and it has now brought their community together alot more within the park.
- Salvation Army - Brunch to Lunch Project, it is hoped that this venture restarts soon, last year saw the community gardens donate excess produce and specially grown produce to The Salvos, this was cooked up by local business owner Bill Zunick of Nitro Pizza and provided free out of The Salvation Smeaton Grange Centre on Friday lunchtimes.
- Roam Communities had an innaugural tree planting in the community garden after taking up a garden plot, Roam Communities are a local practise providing mental health services, the benefits of gardening are globally recognised and Horticultural Therapy is become more and more recognised locally.
The Gardens has been the source of information for a great part of the the community and as such has hosted visitors from the following groups that we are aware of and has been part of the following events.
- Chester Hill Neighbourhood Centre
- Asian Women at work program
- Harrington Park Public School, Yr 2
- Holroyd Garden Club
- St Benedicts School, Kinder Classes.
- Macarthur Famgate Tours
- Ecotopia Garden Tour
- Camden Senior Week Tour
- Camden Produce Markets
- Canterbury Community Centre
- The Hermitage 1st Birthday Country Fair
- Camden Show 2013, Kids interactive with MCSL
Camden Show 2013 was a great chance to engage with our fellow community members, Camden Community Garden joined forces this year with Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living (MCSL), Uni NSW Cobbitty and The Spinners and Weavers group in a Kids Interactive Display, this stand showcased produce from Paddock to Plate and beyond, as well as seeing the origins and processes wool and cotton went through it was a great chance to follow grains through the food chain and their various forms, MCSL had some great craft opportunities for the kids as well as fruit and veg carving, composting and worm farming demos and a huge amount of info on living sustainably. The Community Gardens together with MCSL grew in excess of 3500 seedlings, kids got the opportunity to collect free seedlings for themselves and their schools. The following schools either collected or were delivered seedlings during or since the show.
- Oaks Public School,
- Narellan Vale Public School,
- St Pauls Catholic School Camden,
- Elderslie Public School,
- Mount Hunter Public School,
- Camden South Public School.
The following groups have now taken the offer of free seedlings up also.
- Bundanoon Community Garden, Bundanoon.
- Airds Bradbury Mens Shed
- Waratah Cottage Early Learning Centre, Claymore.
- Carss Park Community Garden, Kogarah.
This year we have also made connections with RichmondPRA, and Macarthur Disability Services, as part of our commitment to spreading the word about the importance of community gardens and educating the next generation we have been reaching beyond our borders. In April 2013 our president visited Marsden Rd Public School at Liverpool to meet with a group of parents, teachers and the local enviroment group to discuss their community garden, community engagement and give the group a virtual tour of a selection of gardens across sydney. In April 2013 we also took part in a Regional Meeting with NASSA (Neighbour Aid Social Support Association) run through Narellan Congregational Community Services, this was a great chance to highlight the connection made with one group involved in the Community Garden and how this example can be used to benefit many others.
May will see Camden Play Day happen at Kirkham Oval, this should also be a big day for the Communtiy Gardens with more activities and things green for the kids.
Camden Kids Play day has been and gone, a huge day with almost 1000 seedlings given away just to the littlies.
The middle of the year has seen more visitors with schools starting to embrace the gardens, the latest visitors being year 3 and 4 from South Camden Public School, near 200 kids spread over 2 days.
Other groups visiting Include
- Penrith Wanderers - Seniors Group,
- Camden District Activity Centre Seniors,
- Eastwood Senior Group.