Community Gardens in the Inner West
Our Local Gardening Network
Communal gardening has long been part of the Inner West’s DNA. In fact, Lilyfield’s Glover’s Garden, at Callan Park, is Sydney’s oldest community garden, established in 1985. This little patch of paradise is set up on organic and permaculture principles, and members not only help to tend the veggies, but care for the resident chooks and industrious worm farms, too.
There are established community gardens all around the Inner West, and they all encourage visitors to come along and find out more, and to take part in regular working bees. The Council’s website is an excellent starting point to find one nearest to you.
Best of all, you can start off as small or big as you like. Grow it Local is an Australia-wide initiative connecting growers – whether they’re cultivating herbs on a windowsill, have a backyard veggie patch or are already members of a community garden.
Benefits of Communal Gardening
Making friends and learning new skills
It’s long been known that a community garden not only brings the satisfaction of planting, tending and harvesting your own produce, but, perhaps best of all, it brings people together. The social aspect can be hugely beneficial to those in our community who live without access to their own outdoor space or are isolated in other ways.
Sharing knowledge and lending a helping hand with tasks such as weeding, mulching, digging and planting is a great way of connecting people. Plus, sharing the fruits of your labours is another way of ‘giving back’. After all, who can resist a gift of beautiful homegrown produce?
Saving the planet, one worm farm at a time
Sharing a vegetable garden can bring huge benefits to our environment. Participants share communal composting, worm farms and recycling systems, thus reducing kitchen waste and landfill. These gardens are also generally based on organic or permaculture principles, so they’re pesticide-free.
Growing our own produce also cuts down on the transportation, packaging and storage required by commercial producers, further reducing our carbon footprint.
Gardening for wellbeing
Gardening is good for you. Simply spending time in the fresh air doing physical tasks in the garden is one of the easiest (and most enjoyable) ways to keep fit and healthy. Growing your own produce also means you know exactly what’s gone into it, and generally, those are only good things.
Plus, it’s well known that being socially connected leads to a happier, healthier life, whatever your age. Being part of a gardening community can lead to a reduction in the symptoms caused by isolation, such as depression or stress. The simple act of tending a growing thing also brings a sense of satisfaction and achievement that can do wonders for your overall mental health.
So, grab your gardening gloves, put on a hat and get out and meet some of the Inner West’s welcoming gardening communities. Or why not start your own?
Image by Grow It Local via Facebook