Bourke Street community garden in Woolloomooloo will soon grow even bigger thanks to extra space from the City of Sydney for miniature fruit trees, new garden beds, a tool shed, native bee hive and chicken coop.
The garden - one of the City’s 19 community gardens – boasts 35 members, who meet up to grow local food, make friends and learn new skills.
It began four years ago and already boasts a communal herb garden, fruit trees, composting bins and worm farms. The City has now approved an extension of 410 square metres that will create opportunities for more members to grow fruit and vegetables.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said there had been an overwhelming response from the community to expand the garden.
“We’ve listened to the community and are making this extra land available to them,” the Lord Mayor said.
“A native bee hive and chicken coop will allow the gardeners to supplement their fruit and herb harvest with eggs and honey.
“Community gardens serve a wonderful purpose by encouraging locals to grow their own food in urban spaces. Our popular community gardens are a great way for Sydneysiders to work together to green our city and grow their own local produce.”
Georgina Bathurst said the gardeners have spent the last six months working on their management plans and developing guidelines to maintain and care for their new livestock.
“Our garden started with 10 people, four years ago,” Ms Bathurst said. “We now have over 35 members including renters, ratepayers and social housing tenants. We all enjoy growing, nurturing and eating organic vegetables, sharing ideas and socialising.
“Everyone is really interested in our plans for chickens and we hope it will attract an even broader section of the community into our garden.”
Community gardener, Todd Israel, is a new a father to three-month-old-son, William, and said the garden is a great way to introduce city-dwelling children to the natural world.
“I’m delighted that my son will grow up with this safe, green space to learn how our food grows,” Mr Israel said.
“Our wonderful little garden is a great spot in the heart of our city for the next generation to learn about food production and grow their own fresh fruit, herbs and vegetables.”
The City’s community garden coordinator, Raewyn Broadfoot, said members are extremely active and reach out to the community through workshops and working with local businesses.
“The Bourke St community garden is a real hub of green-thumb activity,” Ms Broadfoot said.
“Gardeners have held community workshops alongside TAFE Outreach and the Ozanam Learning Centre teaching sustainable skills such as gardening and composting.”
“Expanding the garden will allow space for more members, and the addition of a native bee hive and chickens will mean Bourke Street is the first City of Sydney community garden with its own livestock.
“Native stingless bees in urban areas offer great benefits for the community, and the garden. The bees will help pollinate the plants, vegetables, flowers and herbs as well as providing raw honey for the community.
“The gardeners already work closely with local cafes who provide coffee husks and kitchen scraps for communal compost.”
The City has consulted with the community on the expanded garden and received overwhelming support for the expansion. Work on the additional areas of the garden will start later this year.
Link to community gardens section on City website: cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/community/participation/community-gardens
For media inquiries or images, contact City of Sydney Senior Publicist Elaine Kelly on 0400 331 027or email email@example.com
For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Matt Levinson on 0499 319 385 or email firstname.lastname@example.org