Things have been moving along rather quickly with our community garden this week! Well, it may not ‘look’ like things have been moving along, as nothing much physically has changed, other than some of the house renovations. But, lots of planning and paperwork and ideas have been rolling and it will be really soon that we start seeing our first garden beds in the front of the house being filled. Here’s what’s been happening:
- Establishing an Incorporation. The community garden could just go ahead without having an official status, BUT, in order to grow and thrive in the community, we really need to be registered as a charitable organisation with NSW fair trade. So, becoming registered means that we will be considered an ‘incorporation’. What distinguishes an ‘incorporation’ from a business, is basically just that we will be a not-for-profit organisation. Being officially incorporated means that we will be able to receive tax deductible money and goods donations from local businesses and that we will be able to apply for money from grants. Also, once we have an official name, that is registered with NSW fair trade, then we can have things like a bank account, insurance, etc. The process of being incorporated is fairly painless, just a short application process and a little fee of about $167 and we’re on our way!
- Scarecrows and Sculptures! Some ideas that Kate, (our garden’s benefactress and land owner) has been coming up with have a lot to do with involving the local school kids from the primary school, St. Joseph’s Primary School, across the street. Not only do we want our community garden to be functioning, but we also want it to look really cool! So, one idea has been to get local kids to make scarecrows and sculptures to place around the garden. What a fantastic idea! Any way to get the kids involved and understanding where their food comes from is so great!
- Starting a Worm Farm. Up until today, I knew almost nothing about how a worm farm would help our garden… ok, I still hardly know a thing about it, but I know a little more about it today than I did before. A worm farm is used as a way to provide fertilizer for a garden. Basically, how it works is… have a bunch of worms in an appropriate container (our container happens to be the old bathtub from the house which is being renovated)… Add organic matter to the top layer, such as vegetable scrapes (our worms will be vegetarians, yay! because apparently adding meat will attract vermin), as the organic material starts to decompose, the worms will eat the decomposing organic matter and leave ‘castings’ (worm elimination)… the castings form an extremely nutrient rich liquid that can be applied to the garden as fertilizer! How cool! You can read more on how worm farms work here.
There may be other things in the making that I forgot to mention, but these are the main points. What’s so cool about having a community garden is that there are so many people who have so many different valuable skills, who can contribute to building the garden in many different ways. For example, some people may know where to source the fill for the garden beds, while others know about worms. And, there are also people like me… um… who don’t know much else other than how to write a blog and dig a hole 😉