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Community Gardens Alive and Thriving in Perth

Community gardens and allotments are sprouting up all over Perth and it’s not hard to see why they have such wide appeal. Gardening isn’t just good for the environment - it’s good for the soul.

There’s something quite humbling about growing what goes on your plate. And something refreshing in knowing how few hands (and chemical processes) it’s been through to end up there. Not to mention all you have to gain – socially and emotionally – from taking time out to stop and smell the roses (and your coriander).

Community gardens exist for a variety of reasons - from increased environmental awareness, to a desire to consume less processed (and more organic) foods, and simply wanting to reconnect with families and local communities. For Joondanna Community Garden member Janelle Atkinson the appeal also lies in the fact that gardening is something anyone can do, attracting people from all walks of life.

The Joondana Community Garden was established in 2009 when local residents revived a derelict, council-owned park. The community garden now has 70 members actively participating in both gardening and social activities. Reaching out to a broader section of the community, Joondana Community Garden recently hosted one of the City of Stirling’s Autumn Practical Gardening Workshops on composting. Community spirit is clearly thriving in the City of Vincent and City of Stirling with three other established gardens in West Leederville, Westminster and North Perth.

Is community gardening for you?

Community food gardens have many benefits, but to name just a few:

Stress reduction: gardening is a great way to unwind.

Social connection: community gardens are a great way to meet people, and to belong to your local community.

Family-friendly: gardening is an activity the whole family can enjoy. For families with small children community gardens offer a unique opportunity to learn about where our food comes from, to respect our environment and learn how to preserve it, and of course to have fun.

Affordable: Best of all, it won’t break the bank. Community gardening centers on sustainability, so the more creatively you can ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ the more true to purpose your garden project will be.

More than just gardens

Many community food gardens go beyond their remit to grow plants and produce, becoming a hub for broader activities to support community development.

The APACE garden in North Fremantle is the oldest recorded community garden in Perth, in operation for over 20 years. Through gardening and other related activities, APACE’s mission is to help disadvantaged people, providing a place where they can feel safe and make a positive contribution to their local community. As well as caring for the environment, community gardens like APACE provide vital support to the community service sector.

Where do I sign up?

Whether you’re looking for advice on your own veggie patch, to join your local garden, learn more about starting your own garden or fancy a quick sticky beak to see what it’s all about - there are plenty of places in Perth where you can find the inspiration you need.

Community Gardens WA can connect you with the garden nearest to you as well as advice and resources across a range of issues relating to community gardening.

Can’t find a garden near you? If you think your local community would benefit from having a community garden then why not get some friends together and establish one yourself? 10 Steps for Starting a Garden is a good resource for getting your garden up and running - and making sure it’s a success.

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At Psaros we are committed to reducing the environmental footprints of our buildings and occupants alike, providing positive and long-lasting environmental, social and economic outcomes. Contact us if you’d like to know more about our sustainability initiatives.