Thursday, 10 November 2016

Dig It! gets a helping hand

By Tim George

An army of volunteers turn Royal Oak Organic Garden into a paradise
Last Saturday, over a hundred volunteers from the Mt Roskill branch of the Church of Latter Day Saints helped to clean up the Dig It! Royal Oak Organic Garden at CCS Disability Action’s office in Royal Oak.
Vicky Barrett, the Garden Supervisor, appreciated the assistance. “I’d walked around the garden wondering how to deal with the vast quantities of rubbish and deal with overgrowth neglected from the build,” Vicky says.
Tania Hall, a Community Support Coordinator who works in the Royal Oak office, got the idea to reach out to her church.
Ami Pepe, the church’s Public Affairs Director, had been looking for a project for his community to get involved in. “Tania approached us. Then we came down and had a look at the place to see what we could do.”
Two weeks before the event Vicky, Ami, Anthony Wilson the branch leader for Mr Roskill, and eight Bishops took a look at the garden to see what needed to be done.
These tasks included:

  • Clearing vast quantities of wood. 
  • Breaking up concrete.
  • Shifting a mound of soil from the back of the property to the raised beds.
  • Trimming vast Grisellinia hedges.
  • Weeding around the fruit trees in the orchard, the edges of pathways, steps and banks.
  • Emptying whole beds of overgrown vegetation.
  • Pulling down unproductive climbers.
  • Removing false garlic from beds and turning over the soil.
  • Cutting down a colossal banana grove that was threatening to upend the glasshouse.
  • Laying a recycled concrete paver path from the work area to the glasshouse.
  • Setting posts for the chook enclosure in the ground. Thanks to Mt Roskill Bunnings for donating the concrete, scoria and nails.
The volunteers also went above and beyond the call of duty by preparing a delicious lunch of chicken fillet, sausages, salad greens, potato salad, bread, juice and water.
“They were so well organised, focussed and fun-loving. There was laughter, chatter and music all over the garden,” Vicky says.
Ami Pepe says many of the volunteers had experience with landscaping and gardening, and were able to use their skills on Saturday.
Along with Vicky and Tania, CCS Disability Action staff members Brandon Murphy and Shirin Jayawant, and CCS Disability Action volunteers Jenny Lunn, Gabrielle Beaton and Joy Jelsier assisted the Church volunteers.
Vicky appreciates the volunteers’ efforts. “Thank you to all involved for giving the people we serve the opportunity to flourish in this garden,” she says.

Here are some photos from the day!

Look like fun?
If you are a member of a community group that would like to get involved, we would love to hear from you.
Contact Vicky Barrett
Dig It! Royal Oak Organic Gardens Supervisor
09 625 9378
021 0833 7868

1 comment: