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Yinnar Community Garden: a practice in sustainability

Yinnar Community Garden: a practice in sustainability

Setting up a community garden is a complex process requiring many considerations around water, landscaping, gardening philosophy, insurance, and volunteer management – just to name a few. When considering the sustainability of a Garden it is not just about the environmental impact, but also how to sustain the community spirit and enthusiasm.

The Yinnar Community Garden has a sustainability that takes practice to maintain. As part of our mission to provide educational resources for the community, this booklet describes our sustainability practices, and aims to mentor proposed community gardens through the difficulties and successes we encountered.

The YCG is a verdant and productive oasis. It includes over 50 fruit and nut trees, 8 raised beds, espaliered heritage apple trees, an Indigenous Garden showcasing plants of importance to the Gunnai Kurnai people, and other native plants for biodiversity. Visitors to the Garden often comment on the strongly fragrant passionfruit marigold and ‘Prostanthera incisa’ – cutleaf mint bush, and our strawberries and raspberries are popular with children.

We also grow some unusual plants such as cherry guavas, lemonades, artichokes, and Russian or elephant garlic.

The Garden focuses on edible plants and is managed organically and communally. A variety of permaculture techniques are utilised, such as sourcing local or recycled materials (cypress/pavers/bricks/coffee grounds), harvesting rainwater, planting living mulch to crowd out weeds, and using different levels to create a mini-food forest of canopy trees, understorey trees, and underplantings. The YCG is also home to three beautiful mosaics including the impressive centrepiece based on the signs of the zodiac, as well as four pergolas and a gazebo.

Over 12 years, we have hosted more than 40 community workshops, and have been the recipient of eight grants totalling over $100,000.

Read more — download PDF 3.3MB

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