Karori's community garden flowering

AMY JACKMAN
Last updated 09:45 29/11/2012
Nicola Middenhall
AMY JACKMAN / The Wellingtonian

Growing high: Garden co-ordinator Nicola Midenhall, surrounded by vegetables at the Karori community garden.

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Green plants and flowers are spearing out of the dirt at the new community garden behind St Mary's Church in Karori.

Started three weeks ago, the three-plot vegetable garden features three types of beans, tomatoes, cabbages, potatoes, lettuces, leeks, beetroot, silverbeet and carrots. There are also flowers planted to deter pests.

Garden co-ordinator Nicola Mildenhall said she noticed there was an abandoned plot behind the church and thought the area would be good for a community garden.

"It's a great sunny space," she said.

"There's a real need around the community to make a difference, and to bring people together and let them know that we care.

"This is not a church garden. It's for everyone to come together."

Mrs Mildenhall said the garden had already proved popular.

"We have a schedule of people who come and water them. The local cafes donate their scraps for our worm farm and quite a few people have come down to help us set it up.

"Success breeds success. Now that you can see the vegetables growing, there will be even more people interested."

The garden would also be used for education purposes, Mrs Mildenhall said.

"The childcare centre down the hill has already brought their kids up here.

"I grew up with a vegetable garden but it still amazes me that there are people who know nothing about growing anything.

"On our first planting day we had 15 families who came and helped us. Two of them had children who had never done anything like this before. It was great watching the way this one little boy just opened up and had the best time.

"This place will be great for teaching people how things grow and where food comes from."

Mrs Mildenhall hopes to take the garden further into the community and set up plots in people's backyards.

There is also a plan to put in at least three more plots in the near future.

"I can't wait to see what it looks like this time next year," she said.

"I just know it's going to be here for years to come. I want it to be a real community space."

Working bees are on Sundays and there will be a community picnic on December 9 at 12.30pm. All welcome.

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