From commentator to cultivator
I look down on the garden that has popped up at the end of our very short street and now view it with a new found sense of urgency. With a plot offered and gratefully accepted in our very small street… I now want to share the micro story of this horticultural experiment in downtown Melbourne and compare it with the extensive extravaganza which is my parents’ 25 acres at a place called Humpty Doo just south of Darwin. Their place has over many years been fertilised by well fed chooks (chickens).
We have people from all around Kensington – arguably one of the best inner city suburbs of Melbourne who are concerned about food miles, the community and social responsibilities to neighbours involved in the project.
Just around the corner a lovely young couple pot seedlings in recycled pots and place them on a small table outside their apartment. Offered free, but with contributions accepted, they are bringing a mini nursery to inner Melbourne with dirt, seeds, water and kindness.
I could have put out a shingle saying “We are from Darwin – adopt us!” – but having a community garden is better. It certainly is a talking piece and the interesting nature of the set up and the fact it isn’t fenced (only one of two unfenced Melbourne City Council supported plots in the city) draw parents with their toddlers playing in the park, local neighbours and dog walkers to gaze at the growth of vegetables and fruits in these tubs.
As happenstance would have it, we walked past the large fenced community garden this morning located in the Flemington housing estate and although I saw many beds and plants, they didn’t seem to have the sophistication and technology of the Davis St beds. It would be valuable to compare the crops and yields of this “traditional” fenced community garden with the smaller, non fenced “pop-up garden”.
So what am I going to grow in our community plot? Chillies as one would expect and the other items come straight from the autumn and winter playbook for vegetable growing in Melbourne.
Volumes of what we grow will be recorded and reported before we consume and it will be interesting to see how we as a group respond.
There is an app called Gardenate which allows us to identify best plants to plant when, keeps a record of our interactions and allows us to record harvest. This data is shared back in a scientific study of inner city sustainability.
Here is a link to the Facebook photo album I posted earlier – you don’t need to have a Facebook account to view this album