Community initiative ‘more than just a garden space’

Chillies, tomatoes, capsicums and lettuce have already been planted in the community garden....
Chillies, tomatoes, capsicums and lettuce have already been planted in the community garden. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Growing food and the links between people will be the focus of Fiordland’s new community garden, its trust president says.

Fiordland Community Garden Charitable Trust president Andrea Staben said there was plenty of local knowledge in the area and the garden was a way to share this.

It would also provide families with knowledge of how to grow their own food, the importance of which had been highlighted by this year’s events, she said.

In September, the trust announced it had secured a location in the sports and recreational area of Te Anau’s Memorial Park.

Ms Staben said support from the community had been outstanding.

Tunnel houses were constructed, and fencing was being built to make it a safe area for families and children.

Chillies, tomatoes, capsicums and lettuce had already been planted.

The garden was about promoting community, developing social networks, and finding friendships, Ms Staben said.

"It is intended to be more than just a garden space but a learning space, a meeting space and any produce surplus to requirements will go back to the community to support those in need."

The trust was given grants from the Southland District Council Community Initiatives Fund, the Meridian Energy Manapouri Power Up Fund and donations from the community.

These included labour, materials and money.

There would be a small blessing on November 27, and an official Harvest Festival opening would be held in Autumn 2021.

The blessing would begin at 5pm and include a barbecue.

Ms Staben invited those interested to bring a picnic dinner and have a look around.

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