Community garden grows a life of its own
The Bream Creek Farmers Market Community Garden was funded by FRRR back in 2012, and for the past few years has grown a variety of fresh produce to sell at the market on a monthly basis, providing the community with fresh produce helping the self-sufficiency of the Market.
The Garden Committee saw the opportunity to expand the operations and produce much larger quantities of Tassie produce, but to do this, they knew that a more structured approach to planning, infrastructure and management of the Garden was needed.
The Domino's Give for Good program enabled the continued development of the garden with a $5,000 grant in early 2017. This grant supported the employment of a paid Coordinator to focus on the management of the operations and volunteers.
The Coordinator used her time to develop the infrastructure of the garden, including working with an irrigation specialist to deliver water to the garden beds in the most effective and efficient way possible; supported the implementation of the recommendations in the professional Permaculture Report; and most importantly, worked to develop a key group of volunteers to assist at the thrice weekly working bees.
Elizabeth Know, Committee member, explained that having a dedicated Coordinator saw the Garden grow from strength to strength.
“Volunteers were offered clear direction as to the tasks required to be undertaken at each working bee and were encouraged to adopt the Garden as their own project. This saw an increase in the number of volunteers,” said Elizabeth.
“The Coordinator was then able to focus on developing a retail arm, and the turnover doubled in the second year and quadrupled in the third year, with the introduction of the retail arm.”
With the purchase of an effective irrigation system, increased volunteer numbers, and maximising the use of the whole plot of land, it is anticipated that the level of garden-grown produce should double again during the next year.
Riding on this success, the Bream Creek Farmers Market Community Garden developed a life of its own, which is beyond the original scope of the Farmers Market sub-committee. They decided that it would be best if the Garden became its own incorporated association and the profits from the Garden for this past financial year were allocated to that new NFP organisation, now known as the Bream Creek Community Market Garden.
This money will seed fund the growth of the Garden and with its clear vision, there will undoubtedly be more branches of success in the future.
“Many thanks to FRRR and Domino's for supporting this valuable community project and for following our progress both by site visits and through the Facebook page. We have valued your interest and support greatly and are pleased that we have been able to deliver many of the outcomes we originally proposed. The future of the Garden under the direction of its newly formed and dedicated Committee looks bright,” Elizabeth said.