Community Gardens

Overview

According to the Australian City Farms & Community Gardens Network, Community gardens are places where people come together to grow fresh food, to learn, relax and make new friends.

Community gardens are part of a growing movement towards growing your own local food, with many benefits for personal and environmental health and social togetherness. 

Wingecarribee Council is committed to support community gardens in the Southern Highlands and is working to encourage communities and residents to create a more self-provisioning economy by growing their own food. (2031+ Community Strategic Plan 5.3.4

All community gardens are unique, as they reflect the management choices of the community group that tend them. Community gardens are community generated projects.

Common themes that Community Gardens share include:

  • Common ground to grow, cultivate and nurture fresh food
  • Inclusive places connecting people with food and food cultures, supporting cultural diversity and providing opportunities for social networking and outreach
  • Supporting sustainable lifestyles and learning opportunities
  • Encouragement of organic and permaculture gardening philosophies
  • Provision of a safe physical activity and social and cultural expression
  • Supporting local food security by providing a local edible plant seed bank.

Community Gardens within the Wingecarribee Shire

The values of the Wingecarribee community gardens are personal independence, social interaction, sustainable lifestyles and learning in a family friendly environment.

There are wonderful Community Gardens within the Wingecarribee Shire, including;

Moss Vale Community Garden

Location: 16 Railway Street, Moss Vale (next to the tennis courts)

Website: www.mossvalecommunitygarden.org.au

Opening times: Mondays 10:30 - 4.00, Thursdays 9.30 - 5.00

The Moss Vale Community garden is a non-profit group that has been running for the past nine years. The group currently has around 20 members with membership growing due to an increased focus on growing your own food and local food security and sustainability.

The garden provides the community with a valuable resource as it provides a base from which the community can get hands-on experience and training in growing fruit, vegetables and herbs suited to local conditions.

Council assisted Moss Vale Community Garden with a 2013 Seniors Week grant application and the removal of four cypress leylandii trees shading the garden. Council will also be supporting the connection of Moss Vale Community Garden with Meals on Wheels and assist with infrastructure development proposals later this year.

Southern Highlands Community Farm

Location: Canyonleigh Road, Canyonleigh (after transmission towers on the left)

Website: https://www.shantimission.org/southern-highlands-community-farm

Open by arrangement. Keep an eye out for the sign.

For more information contact: 

Email: farm@shantimission.org

Four Seasons Community Garden - Bowral

Location: 182 Bowral Street, Bowral

Facebook: 4 Seasons Community Garden

For more information please contact:

Michael Hyland on 0448 739 373

Sharon Miller on 0451 536 423

Establishing a Community Garden

The following steps outline the process to obtain Council approval for the development of a Community Garden in the Wingecarribee Shire. 

This sequence of steps is for guidance only, some steps may occur simultaneously.

1. Applicant to establish community garden working group and management structure.

2. Applicant to compile a list of preferred sites in a formal letter to Council for consideration.

NOTE: Due to changes in the Crown Lands Management Act, Council is unable to consider any proposal for the use of Crown Lands within Council’s care, control and management until further notice.

3. Applicant to meet with Council to discuss preferred community garden site.

4. Applicant to submit Development Application to Council for the proposed site.

5. Applicant to register as an Incorporated Association – Not-for-Profit.

6. Applicant to develop a work health and safety plan for the community garden group and submit to Council.

7. Applicant to obtain Public Liability Insurance and provide evidence of this to Council.

8. Council to provide a Lease Agreement to community garden coordinator for signing.

For further details on these steps please refer to: 

Establishing a Community Garden(PDF, 528KB)

What Makes a Successful Garden

Site Attributes for a Successful Community Garden include:

  • A location that is close to its volunteers
  • Access to public transport and adequate parking space
  • Access to toilets
  • Access to water, suitable soil and direct sunlight exposure.

How Can We Assist

Subject to available resources Council will:

  • Promote and raise awareness of community gardening
  • Provide information to the public about the operation of community gardens
  • Facilitate enquiries regarding the set up of a community gardens
  • Provide in-kind support where feasible
  • Provide information on grant funding opportunities.

Resources

Other valuable community garden resources available include:

Cultivating Community - The Good Practice Guide for Community Gardens

Northey Street City Farm – Volunteer Handbook