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2009 ACFCGN gathering

2009 ACFCGN gathering

CARSS PARK COMMUNITY GARDEN was still a construction site, however it proved a successful venue for the 2009 Australian City Farms & Community Gardens Network’s (ACFCGN) 2009 meet-up and annual general meeting, an event combined with the quarterly Sydney Community Garden Network (SCGN) gathering.

Participants at the Australian City Farms & Community Gardens Network AGM came from Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and NSW. They are gathered here outside the community gardeners’ room at the Carrs Park Community Garden building.

While those attending the ACFCGN meeting discussed topics such as communications, the distribution of Network funds for projects and the production of a new inventory of community gardens in Australia, a work crew continued the construction of the community gardens’ strawbale classroom and community gardeners tended the vegetables planted in a number of shared gardening beds.

Like the Randwick Community Organic Garden, the Carss Park gardeners have obtained roofing tile seconds to make sturdy edges to their garden beds. The age range of the gardeners spans the twenties to retired and there is a mix of men and women. The garden occupies the green of a disused bowling club on land owned by Kogarah City Council, which instigated the community garden project and hired sustainability educator, Faith Thomas and the author as consultants to carry out a community consultation, gather a core of gardeners together, organise a participatory site design and write a gardener’s guide and policy directions for Council on community gardening.

The SCGN meeting offered networking and news-sharing about what’s happening in community garde:

  • Aaron Sorensen shared insight into the participatory design processes he uses with community gardeners in the Illawarra, south of Sydney
  • Emma Daniell, education co-ordinator for Randwick Community Organic Garden, took people through the seed saving process
  • Rob Allsop led a workshop on managing insect pests.

SCGN meet-ups are quarterly events in different community gardens that bring together people active or interested in community gardening, some from local government and others from other organisations to share knowledge, get to know each other and to reinforce the idea that we are all engaged in a common enterprise. The informal organisation gives a regional voice to community gardeners. Last season’s took place at Chester Hill Community Garden in western Sydney.

The Sydney Community Gardens Network and the Australian City Farms & Community Gardens Network offer their thanks to the Carss Park gardeners for their hospitality and to Kogarah City Council for its cooperation.

Visitors were shown around the community garden by the gardeners.
The strawbale classroom was nearing completion when the Sydney Community Gardens Network met.
Although the Carss Park Community Garden was still under construction when the visitors met there, the shared garden beds were planted out a couple months earlier and were close to harvest.

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