So when a neighbour recently told me about her community garden plot, I listened with great interest.
The local organic garden is shared by about 80 members. Members can choose to participate in just the communal gardens or they can rent their own personal plot that is about 3meters square. The communal garden includes shared fruit trees, herb garden, chicken coop, bee hive, mini vineyard, compost, worm farm and seedling hothouse.
Members commit to spending some time each week caring for the communal gardens and in return we can share in some of the crops that they produce. Members who also rent personal plots of land are then able to sew and care for their own crops of choice in these spaces.
Last weekend, our family visited our plot for the first time and we left feeling very inspired and enthusiastic. During our visit we met a member of a neighbouring plot; a lovely man willing to share both his gardening knowledge as well as the fruits of his hard work with us. We came home with some fresh broccollini and broad beans to enjoy that night courtesy of his generosity.
We also returned home with a selection of seedlings we purchased from the garden. In hindsight we have probably been way too ambitious in our purchases given the small scale of space available to us. Awaiting planting we now have fennel, two types of lettuce, two types of tomatoes, pumpkin, strawberries, dill and rock-melon.
However despite our over-enthusiastic purchase of seedlings, I know all four of us are looking forward to planting and tending to every single one of them! I never thought I could be so excited about a small square space of land, but I have to admit I am enthusiastically sharing with all my friends the news of our new family venture into gardening!
Beyond the garden itself during our weekend visit I gained a glimpse into some of the broader benefits of being community garden members as we shared conversations with many of our fellow plot owners.
I realised how blessed we'll be to collaborate with our broader community as we care for a small part of nature entrusted to us. My experience in my local community garden highlights for me the double meaning in the bible verse Galatians Chapter 6 verse 7 "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.".
Merewyn Foran is married and a marketing director of a not for profit homelessness agency in Melbourne.
Merewyn Foran's archive of previous articles can be found at www.pressserviceinternational.org/merewyn-foran.html