Why is Pam Warhurst’s message so important? Let’s take a real life example from my neck of the woods.
This is a photo of the North side of the Marlborough Street Reserve in the lovely Melbourne suburb of East Bentleigh, Australia.
See that large expanse of grass up near the fence? All that grass, some trees, more grass, a little concrete path, more grass. And what about all that grass?
You see, up until just recently, there was a disused tennis court on that same spot, as you can see below, it is a good size relative to the playground area of the park, about the same size in fact.
The site is situated such that it receives sunlight most of the day, throughout Summer and Winter, sheltered from severe winds, and sits at the base of a rise, to which gravity would deliver plenty of ground water.
And this is the view from Marlborough Street, when it had a wire fence from the main road, a wooden fence to the park, and a small bricked clubhouse at the top. Is this starting to look like the makings a perfectly situated, small scale community garden?
A good example of how it can work is in the Northern Melbourne suburb of Thornbury, the site of a small community garden by the name of Sprout. As you can see, it is not a huge area, all nestled in between a railway line and houses.
When you see something like Sprout and what it returns to the community, and then compare that with the expanse of grass that we have today in Marlborough Street Reserve, which one would you rather have?
Have you had a similar experience to this, and at what point can you influence the outcome?
When the land is gone it is gone.
Opportunities to create food growing spaces around Melbourne are rare, and I’d impress upon you to throw as much effort into avoiding what the Marlborough Reserve has become – bloody useless grass.
- Support Community Gardens (misterfranksgarden.wordpress.com)
- Columbia Falls Community Garden (frommichigantomontana.com)
- Five Tips for Launching an Urban Garden (civileats.com)