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Community garden work to start within a month

August 9th, 2010

Preparation work is now under way for starting construction of the Motueka Community Garden within a month, before spring growth gets a hold, an on-site meeting confirmed yesterday.

People who had attended the first public exploratory meeting two weeks ago were joined by several other interested people, including some from Keep Motueka Beautiful, encouraging key project organisers Rob Francis and Tara Forde to press ahead.

One of the key topics needing further investigation relates to the garden organisers' legal entity status. The Motueka Community Board could umbrella the project, but the group must find out if they would still be able to apply for funding from the same sources if they were a separate registered trust or an incorporated society. Would they be able to apply to council in this capacity?

Tara Forde will investigate these matters further and report back to the next meeting, to be held within two weeks. She believed that incorporated societies or registered charitable trusts of community-based organisations are eligible to apply for the Canterbury Community Trust donations. This means that the group must have a Certificate of Incorporation obtained through the Department of Commerce.

Bob Cooke of Keep Motueka Beautiful told the meeting what he and KMB are doing and planning in the area. He said a fence is to be constructed around the perimeter, and that some trees - perhaps oaks - are to be planted alongside the walkway that runs beside the garden area back to the Inlet Walkway. He offered the use of his heavy machinery to begin mowing the grass, then raking and maybe some composting, and spraying to kill off couch grass.

A concept plan will be designed incorporating some small allotments and some raised gardens. Some raised gardens will be completed first, then the focus will spread to the remainder of the garden. Florian Pauls will bring some designs back to the group at the next meeting for discussion.

Motueka Online has created a part of the website, found under the "Community facilities" menu tab, to record events, news and discussion related to the garden project. It also offers a page allowing people to donate useful materials to the project.

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