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Community garden preparation gains momentum with donations and great deals

October 1st, 2010
By David Armstrong

After two months of tentative steps and planning by a group of enthusiasts, the community garden concept is now taking off following some donations and cheap deals offered by local businesses to eagle-eyed garden planners, and work set to start in earnest next weekend.

Although the first working bee was washed out, a smaller group got together on September 19th (reported here) and pegged out the proposed beds as well as preparing the surface. Then one of the group, Ian Tozer, did some investigating of inexpensive materials to build up the raised garden beds - five of them measuring 15 metres long by 1.5 metres wide. With just $5000 in start-up funding, it is important to manage the potentially large costs in building the huge beds with safe, durable walling and filling them with good soil and compost.

At the Recycling Centre at Mariri he came across a heap of steel roofing tiles, which the owner is prepared to sell very cheaply as a batch to the project. Then on to ITM, which offered a bargain deal for boxing pegs. The total to build the five beds using these materials came to under about $450.

Tara Forde and Ron Sharp have also been gathering materials including compost from ATET, some horse manure and some tools.

Then today came news from Ian that he has a proposed deal with two firms to provide and deliver soil and compost, again for an exceptionally low cost.

Motueka Gravels Limited came up with an excellent offer - 35 cubic metres of dirt mixed with river silt delivered to the site for $20 per metre, or $700 in total. Considering that sieved soil would normally cost $40 per cubic metre and the delivery would cost $200 for 35 metres, the dirt and silt mix offer is under half price.

Then Stoke-based Bark Processors, which does a large amount of work at Motueka and is keen to support our community, for $200 will deliver 12 cubic metres of compost to the site. That's a free donation of the compost if the community garden covers their transport costs. If other community garden workers approve, these two deals will be finalised early next week.

This means that when the next working bee is held, next weekend, the materials to make and fill the first five beds should be on site and ready to go. The working bee on Sunday 10th of October will be Motueka's contribution to the Global Climate Working Bee to get our community thinking about climate change. The date 10/10/10 is a significant day for Climate Action all over the world, and is being coordinated by, and similar events are planned in their thousands across the planet.

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