Growing gardens, active people

…by Hannah Maloney

Story author and Hobart community garden catalyst, Hannah Maloney.

Story author and Hobart community garden catalyst, Hannah Maloney.

DOWN HERE IN TASMANIA gardens are growing, as is our community of active people passionately committed towards growing a healthy future. Right now, winter is starting to creep into our lives and we find ourselves recouping, reflecting, eating pumpkin soup and digesting all the exciting garden projects that are happening.

While Tasmania is the birthplace of Permaculture, the Greens and numerous other groups and individuals doing great things, there has been the unfortunate pattern of these concepts and people leaving the state and flourishing elsewhere. So, a few of us have decided to get busy and create a pumping community growing food (and other good ideas) for change.

Growing Communities — pumping good

Last year in November we had a statewide community and school garden conference called ‘Growing Communities’.

This saw over 100 gardeners, council members, teachers, community development workers and the general community gather in Hobart to network, learn and share skills on growing food towards a better world.

Workshops ranged from food security, school/community gardening, Permaculture, seed saving to conflict resolution. The community garden across the road provided a great space for practical workshops.

But the most awesome thing about this gathering was witnessing people making connections, having the realisations that they weren’t alone in what they are doing and people feeling inspired and supported to start or continue the great work they’re doing in their own communities. We’re planning on holding another one at the end of this year again to keep the momentum going.

Community gardening comes to Taroona

Currently a new community garden has popped up in Taroona (Hobart) and another one is being planned as an addition to our organic food co-op (also in Hobart) that’s being built.

This includes a grey water system and, potentially, a micro-hydro set-up utilising the creek running through the site. Extra produce from the garden will be sold through the co-op, with the potential for a small community market to spring into life in the future.

New building for the coop

The co-op itself is worth a mention and is 100 per cent voluntary run. The collective applied and got funding last year to build the co-op a permanent building on the grounds of the uni.

It’s a demonstration as to how to build sustainably using straw bales and timber gleaned from local council removing trees off parklands.

Schools to be positive action hubs

In other news, there’s a funky organisation down here called Sustainable Living Tasmania who are doing some great work creating positive solutions to issues such as climate change.

One such project they’re working on is a sustainable school expo which will bring schools, teachers and the community together to explore schools can be hubs of positive action. There’s a lot of excitement about school gardens in Tasmania with food gardens popping up throughout the state.
So there’s heaps happening down on this little island, we’re all very excited.


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