Condobolin Community Gardening

A local community group has commenced vegetable gardening at the primary school in Condobolin

Condobolin Community Gardening

A local community group has commenced vegetable gardening at the primary school in Condobolin

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The issue

Community vegetable gardening was identified as a high interest area on surveys conducted at Condobolin.   Condobolin & Districts Landcare coordinator Libby Roesner wanted to encourage a group of urban community members to work together to share and learn about growing their own food.

The solution

A meeting was held at the local primary school to bring together those interested in learning and working on producing fruit and vegetables in the Condobolin community.

Ten adult members of the community and several children turned-up keen and interested in learning and sharing their knowledge.  The group agreed to begin working at St Joseph's Primary School and to meet weekly to start with.  Generous donations were made by the local nursery and by other community members of vegetable seedlings, sheep manure, mulch and pots.

The impact

The group has been running for only a few months and they have already made great progress.  They have already watched their seedlings grow to produce vegetables.  They have improved the soil fertility by digging-in sheep manure into the beds and mulching the surface.  The group learnt how to test the pH of the soil and all about companion planting. They have also investigated with different growing systems including a no-dig potato bed.

The activity of digging and weeding and working together has been wonderful and everyone is learning and sharing with each other.  The group has already harvested spinach, kale and lettuce and zucchini’s will be ready to pick shortly.  This opportunity to understand where food comes from increases the willingness of children to try new fresh foods – we all had a taste of kale chips which were very popular.

Having the garden beds established at the school also provides a great learning environment for the school students who can investigate areas of math, science, geography, and environmental learning.  It is also just great to see the green area of growth in the school yard which provides enjoyment and pleasure to all.

We have made great progress at the Catholic primary school and are now looking for other areas in the community to work. We will be going to the Condobolin High school next month where we will have a go at constructing garden beds and propagating seed with the agricultural students in their glass house.  We will also look into working with the residents at the retirement village.

Key facts

  • There is a strong interest in learning more about growing food locally and subsistence gardening.
  • Growing food organically and eating directly from the garden is a wholesome experience.
  • It’s great for children to learn where food comes from.
  • Cooking and eating what they have produced promotes healthy eating
  • Gardening provides a social opportunity for like-minded individuals to connect.

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