45 minutes east of Hobart is a little town called Dodges Ferry, tucked in against some sweet little surf beaches. There are many great things about this stretch of coast, one of them is this place, Okines Community Garden. We happen to be holding our 2017 summer Permaculture Design Course and thought you might like a little look around…
This garden is particularly ace due to having Gabe and Claire on board (the two groovers you can see to the left) as part-time coordinators to make things happen. Their knowledge, skill and natural flair for greatness really bring this space to life. I *always* love coming here to see the flourishing orchard, veggies, art, chooks and their community in action. Seriously, it’s rare to have such vibrance in community gardens, people always dropping in, working in the food co-op, gardening, talking. It’s good, really good.
The concept of the garden has evolved over time, but at its core it’s obvious that it holds a strong flame for community development, providing a space that people really *want* to be in.
Some of the key things they have focused on creating, or are looking to create include:
- a herb labyrinth
- sale of produce via the market
- involvement of students from the Dodges Ferry Primary School
- cooking classes with the fresh produce
- helping needy people in the community
- growing native and fruit trees
- depot for green waste
- a mulcher for community use
- an experimental garden to determine best plants for the area
- workshops to teach growing techniques and crop rotation etc.
One of our past students is a Dodges Ferry local and she was raving about this garden to me. In particular their pizza oven which her family uses regularly – it’s an extension of their kitchen, their home. How cool is that.
Next door to their cranking pizza oven is a small food co-op run by the community. I love seeing these simple set ups – it’s all you need to distribute good food to folks.
Their labyrinth is on the edge of a small wetland, home to a b’zillion frogs and little critters. As well as growing food, these guys are also committed to regenerating the local native plants and water systems of this area, creating a beautiful and much needed balance. An indicator of their success is their resident bandicoots and echidnas. And yes, that’s the ocean you can see in the background, a refreshing (that’s code for cold Tassie water) swimming beach a short stroll from the garden.
Claire and Gabe are on site Mondays 9:00 am to 4 pm, Wednesdays 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm and Thursdays 10:30 am to 3 pm. Pop in, say g’day, get involved and fall in love with this wonderful space. You can also get in touch with them at email@example.com.
We’re holding our summer Permaculture Design Course in the Okines community house, directly next to this great space. Students will have the option of camping on site and really soak up the space over a two week period. If you’d like to find out more info, get in touch for a yarn at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0418 307 294.