'Let's Get Growing' really started way back in the 1980's when Al & Anne Gourley were in England and visited (and were charmed by) an Allotment garden. Several continents and many years later the yearning to learn how to grow their own vegetables as a way of increasing food security during the recession started the quest to establish a Community Garden in Tauranga. In 2008 Al & Anne first started negotiations with Tauranga City Council to secure a site for a Community Garden on Council Reserve land. Within a few months there was a whole team of like minded people who shared the vision of gardening together. Their fundraising, persistence and sheer hard work saw the first garden established at the Otumoetai Railway reserve in spring 2010 with an incredible quickbuild. In one day, over 100 volunteers with wheelbarrows, hammers and shovels built and filled 58 rented garden plots, plus a range of communual berry, fruit, herb and vegetable gardens. The gardens have continued to flourish since and have become a real community focal point and pride.
Another garden modeled on this one was established in 2012 at Mount Maunganui. New gardens over this year include one with the Corrections/Justice Department; and one in Bethlehem being built soon! 6th Sept 2014 (see Events page to find out more) These are projects by locals, for locals; whose goal is to make gardening achievable for everyday people.
OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH GOOD NEIGHBOUR:
In 2013, Let's Get Growing as an organisation came to a crossroads. After 5 years of being engrossed in setting up the Otumoetai Pilot garden we knew it was time to start proactively moving towards the original vision of facilitating more gardens in other communities and settings. We originally were motivated by learning to grow vegetables – but 5 years later, it’s growing communities that gets us really excited. Our passion is to facilitate more local Community Gardens… we now know they have the potential to strengthen communities on multiple levels
We met the Good Neighbour Trustees at just the right time and are delighted to now partner with Good Neighbour as we share our passion for transforming communities - one garden at a time!
A Fresh Take on Community Gardens
Financially, socially and environmentally it makes sense to help everyday New Zealanders learn how to provide more of their own healthy food.
The Let's Get Growing model of Community gardens is rather unique - a modern Kiwi version of the traditional English Allotment gardens.
This model is self sustaining and financially robust, and the gardens are deliberately trendy and smart – the kind of public space that anyone would like to visit.
Involving People. Growing Community
Garden management is by locals for locals so each community garden has their own local flavour and garden ‘personality’.
The gardens are very inclusive, welcoming all people regardless of their gardening knowledge. In fact, the social and meeting spaces for visitors and gardeners alike are crucial to the gardens success.
Achievable Gardening for Everyday People
People rent garden space and get to eat what they produce from it….… Our aim is for great value and guaranteed results. We want people to enjoy (what may be their first) gardening experience – so the gardens are established with fertile soil, great irrigation & drainage, composting and mulching systems in place. We provide everything needed to get growing, including access to workshops and garden mentors – though most learning and sharing takes place as we simply learn from each-other.
Community Gardens naturally help guide people towards organic practices and environmentally responsible living – but this is NOT a pre-requisite for joining.
Community gardens are recognised worldwide as a great way to grow food, improve your health, meet people, and cultivate vibrant communities.
"Urban community gardeners are bringing life
and liveability, seed by seed, back to their
neighbourhoods. The gardens nourish the body
and also the soul"
(Patricia Hynes. S.A. Handbook for Community Garden Development. 2006)
Still got questions? View our frequently
asked questions Click here .........get
To contact us, grab a garden or get more information
Click here ........get inspired!
To volunteer at a Community Garden quick-build, or on a casual basis
Click here .........get involved!
To donate a one-off amount to help future gardens get established Click here ........get generous!
To find out what events are coming up at Lets Get Growing Click here .........get growing!