Holistic local sustainability; food, water, energy, money, people
The community garden was established by Cornerstone Living with the help of local historian and bush carer Beryl Roberts. It officially opened in July, 2016 and OCCA (Oxley Creek Catchment Association) officer Lyn Whitfield arranged public liability insurance for a small fee per plot. Here’s a quote from the developer’s webpage (link above) from back in September, 2016:
How true! However, within a year the garden had fallen into disuse.
The developer and its body corporate property manager did nothing to inform residents of the garden’s existence or in any way facilitate it. Then, in 2019, we stepped in. We discovered the property managers weren’t even aware it was their responsibility and thought the garden was on Council land.
We have worked for years, making people welcome, cultivating the garden together and sharing the harvest with us. Nurses and horticultural therapists have referred their clients to us. A local Probus gardening group has taken an interest. We only ask that when taking produce from the garden, keep others in mind. Do some weeding while gathering cherry tomatoes for your salad! We forego the administration of plot allocations and fees in favour of the simplicity of sharing in the work and the harvest. We grow food that is easy and popular; herbs such as sweet mint, sage and rosemary, fruit such as strawberries, papaya and dragonfruit, vegetables such as sweet potato and lots of greens. We meet every Sunday in the afternoon (4pm in summer, 3pm in winter). You’re welcome to potter around any time, any day. There are tools in the shed for all to use, including pots, fertilizer, stakes, wire mesh, rakes, spade, shovels, a hoe, a lawn mower and other gardening implements. There’s also a BBQ! There’s a big compost bay for organic kitchen waste. We welcome your scraps.
From the beginning, the Cornerstone Living Body Corporate Property Manager had no instructions to oversee the community garden, not even grounds-keeping, let alone including it in any resident-wide communications. As local Councillor Steve Griffiths stated at a community BBQ meeting at the garden in February, 2020, “Council’s experience is that community facilities like these need the oversight of an organization for them to work.” True, depending on the suburb. In some suburbs community gardens can spring up without commercial or official input. They are places where a sense of community is strong and climate change registers as a personal responsibility. There, food security and local resilience matter. Laudable as it may seem for a developer to install a garden, if it isn’t a response to residents’ requests and isn’t publicized or facilitated, what other than a marketing ploy can it be? Not a well-researched ploy, it would seem, given the target has largely been the Sunnybank sub-culture, many of whom feel linguistically and culturally distant to the mainstream. Our friendly garden crew make it easy for them to overcome their reticence to engage in public, IF they walk through the area and show an interest, but more facilitation is needed. Permaculture is not a thing in China – business and building is, as is to be expected of a recently industrialized nation.
“It’s no secret I’m a fan of gardening, permaculture, and urban food production
I stopped by the Cornerstone Community Gardens and Dutch House Coopers Plains Brisbane Qld today at their BBQ lunch and working bee
The site is unfortunately under a constant threat from a property developer, but that’s not stopping this passionate group of urban gardeners. If you live in the area why not get involved and join the energy and rewards of this great little community project”
BACK TO THE Dutch House Community Gardens page.