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First plantings made in community garden

November 5th

Things moved quickly last week at the Old Wharf Road site of the new Motueka Community Garden, with the completion of construction of the first five raised beds, more topsoil being shipped in, and the planting out of the first half-bed of vegetables.

A crew of workers under the Corrections Department hammered in stakes and built up the metal surrounds for beds 3 to 5, and half filled each with the base soil on site. This was back-breaking work, particularly getting the wooden pegs into the gravelly top surface.

Around the same time, some donated topsoil from the Te Maatu subdivision was loaded, trucked and dumped on the garden site to help fill the beds ready for planting. The driver and vehicles involved were all either donated or made available at low cost, thanks to some lobbying work from a few of the garden group.

And last Sunday afternoon, at the time when it is likely that the garden will be open for working bees and other maintenance work, some new volunteers arrived with garden tools and dozens of plants - principally tomatoes and strawberries - to dig and mix the soil and get growing under way in the first plot. They are also attending to regular watering for the time being until a water delivery system is set up.

So far work has been planned and coordinated by an ad hoc group of between five and 10 people, and work is now under way to make that a little more formal. What for now is called a "Management group" has met once (report here) and will assemble again next Wednesday, Nobember 10th, 7.30pm at 3 Avalon Court, to discuss planning and issues including:

  • maintaining an emailing and phone list of people interested in planning and/or gardening and who want to be kept informed of progress.
  • deciding on when working bees will be held (and advertised) and when the management team will meet and what would be on the agendas.
  • planning each next construction step - finishing building up soil levels, soil nutrition, water, compost bins and compost itself, tools and tool shed, etc.....
  • researching and deciding on the group's legal status (trust, charity ...?)
  • policies on private allotments and communal gardens.
  • further planning of the layout and use of the whole area.
  • a sign in the front telling people what's there.
  • strengthening of beds 3-5

This meeting is open to anyone who is interested in helping this project become an established community asset.

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