Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Hi everyone. We are members of a small community garden located in the grounds of the Salisbury State School. We have been at this site for about one and a half years now and struggling with trying to attract more members from our local community. We have had two successful open days with visitors who are impressed with our gardens, but seemingly not interested in becoming involved. I have been reading posts and pages from other community gardens and don't see that they have this problem, or perhaps they don't write about it. Maybe it is something to do with the local area or perhaps we are not reaching the right people. If anyone has some hints or advise we would welcome all suggestions. Or if any keen local gardeners are interested then you would be most welcome to drop by for a cuppa and a chat.

For anyone interested you can contact either me (Karoline) or Sam on 0450032223 at any time.

The garden is open every Saturday afternoon with differing times during the year. Summer (now) we run from 3pm to 6pm and in winter are from 1 pm to 6 pm.

We are accessible from the Lillian Ave entry to the school just behind the school hall and next to the tennis courts.

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We all wish you luck with your enterprise there Karoline. We have a couple of new members just joined who live in Salisbury. I will mention your CG to them.

Can you add some contact details to your post? (Options, Edit - top right).

No doubt you have tried advertising to attract members - school newsletter, letter box drops, local notice board, local garden clubs. Often these things take time and perseverance to attract the right people.

In my experience both of our school garden and of Deagon's Green P  the problem is simple: Summer...as in heat.

People aren't fools. To commit to working outdoors in the heat is a strenuous option. and volunteer numbers will fall. We're further complicated by the fact we are limited to school hours access and that limits the net options.Then, I guess, like us, participants may need to navigate the Blue Card process..Not that they're keen paedophiles, but it is another hurdle.

So I suggest now is the time to recruit...in the cooling off. You'd think folk in the P&C will sign on but that's unlikely to be the case. Your better option are retirees who have some gardening skills and spare time. . 

I also suggest -- that if not the case already -- that the garden be incorporated into school activities. Here you have a great location to do good in the community by sharing gardening with youngsters and it would be a pity not to do so.

There are many examples of school gardens...and community partnerships.

FYI: we have 2 volunteer mornings -- Tuesday and Thursday -- while the children(and a teacher) supposedly attends to watering as required on the other weekdays. 

We are locked out on weekends: a major handicap. But during hols I have a gate key.

The advantage there is the focus and that the volunteers work with one another and the children so it is fulfilling and social. None are really interested in gardening for their own produce sake. So that rules the dynamic and rationale.

Every so often I send out a collective email so that everyone is on the same page re tasks and changes. and , of course, among the teachers and school community (and the wider community) we're all heroes.

So there is that sustaining feedback.We have 5 regular volunteers and a larger pool which is unreliable.

I'd like to open up the project more but I have access and protocol issues... we may establish a standalone community garden, but on that I'm dubious as I know whats' involved.

At the Deagon Green P...Mike and co organise through a facebook group.LINK.But then that 'farm' is an adjunct of the local community centre with Racing Qld sponsorship...and seriously I'd never go community gardening without a formal partnership in place if only to cover insurance.The Deagon community garden per se (separate form the farm) is an adjunct of the PCYC...but I suspect the PCYC doesn't like the enterprise.

I just joined your facebook page...as I'm keen to negotiate better access protocols here., and you may offer a precedent.

Thanks Lisa, this was such an obvious omission, but fixed now.
Yes we have advertised quite a bit and our open days as we said were very successful with lots of visitors. On the previous State Election Day we even had a stall and raised money for the garden. We also have a large banner on the school fence which is along a busy road and bus route.

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