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Community garden construction gets off to a roaring start

October 11th, 2010
By David Armstrong

Builders of the first stage of the Motueka Community Garden hit the ground running yesterday with a willing group of up to 30 shovellers, barrowers and rakers creating the first two beds almost ready for planting. (See earlier story)

The working bee was organised for the special date (10/10/10) to coincide with thousands of other similar green efforts around the world to highlight the need for steps to keep atmospheric carbon dioxide levels below the crucial 350ppm.

The community garden area is on Old Wharf Road opposite the Recreation Centre and beside the start of the Inlet Walkway and Adopt-A-Plot area. It initially houses communal garden plots but which may later accommodate individual UK-style allotments.

The worker bees, including a handful of children, were keen to get stuck into the large piles of heavy soil/silt provided at half price by Motueka Gravels Limited, and move them into the five parallel garden bed strips, each 1.5 metres wide and 15 metres long. Ian Tozer guided the efforts and directed the construction of the walls of the beds.

The built-up beds, at around 40cm high, were erected by the fitter, sledgehammer-wielding men using bundles of retaining pegs provided at a discount by ITM and a huge load of decramastic roofing strips provided, at the gift price of $30 for the lot, by the Mariri Recycling Centre. Soil was then shovelled into the raised containers and topped off with some fine compost donated by Stoke-based Bark Processors (which does lots of business in Motueka) and some donated horse manure.

Photos below show progress over the two-hour session. In the end, one bed is essentially ready for planting (though it will be left to settle for a few weeks) and its neighbour just needs topping off with the compost. With the base soil largely in place, one further working bee should see all five beds ready to use - a remarkable group effort.

The informal planning group will then look at:
- constructing composting bins or similar structures,
- collecting donated materials for composting,
- considering some form of storage shed for implements and other materials.

If you want to help out either as a gardener or an organiser, please email Tara Ford here. You can be put on an email list telling you of progress and when next working bees are to be held.

Early in the afternoon

After two hours, the first bed is ready

Even the print media (Murray Owen of
The Guardian) were impressed

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