Gardens help community flourish

Adeline Barham and Margaret Dalton in the gardens. Photo: Joe Mastroianni 212160_01

Goya Dmytryshchak

Altona Community Gardens is helping maintain a sense of togetherness amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The gardens recently found a home at Den Dulk Reserve in Somers Parade.

While activities such as working bees have been suspended due to restrictions, interest in gardening has flourished with more people staying at home.

Co-founder Adeline Barham said 21 of the 23 plots had been leased, with up to 30 garden beds planned to meet demand.

There are 51 financial members, with people being invited to join as Friends of the Garden.

“You’re still allowed to go outdoors and work in the gardens with a maximum of two people at a time and, of course, respecting social distancing and just common sense at the moment with masks, obviously,” Ms Barham said.

“I think people are genuinely interested in trying to grow a little bit of food, to be more sustainable.

“It’s very much to give a space, as well, to people who might not have one, with townhouses and developments where the backyards are getting smaller.

“Those who might not have access to somewhere to grow their own organic food can then hire a plot.

“It brings community together. It’s just beautiful.”

More than 500 people are following the Altona Community Gardens Facebook page, where a virtual community shares knowledge and ideas.

“There’s so many people out there with skills that they can share,” Ms Barham said.

“Backyard gardeners – they know a lot.”