Tiny tots watered sprouts while community members scattered seeds, petted chickens and dug holes at the BEST food garden’s annual spring planting on Wednesday October 12. The garden provides free fresh vegetables for local pensioners, grown and delivered by community volunteers.
The place was buzzing, as all of the garden’s partners came along to prepare the summer produce; including the Clontarf Academy, KCL Daycare, Kindamindi Preschool, Connections, Brighter Access and McLean Care.
“It’s amazing,” BEST social programs co-ordinator Danny Middleton said.
“Without these people, there would be no BEST Food Garden. It’s bringing all the community together."
He said the volunteers were from the whole region, not just Inverell.
“We’ve got people all around - Glen Innes, Tingha, participating in this. It’s bringing the region together, and including diverse groups to participate in this activity. That benefits their local community,” he said.
KCL Family Daycare educator Stacy Hamilton said the children were having lots of fun watering the plants, and couldn’t wait to feed the chickens.
“They come up here regularly, and Danny has wonderful activities for us,” she said. Visiting the garden for the past three years, the children knew their way around the watering cans and trowels. Dressed in fluro high visibility vests, gum boots and floppy hats, they were eager and ready to get their hands dirty.
“They love it. They’re learning life skills too and they’re benefitting the local community,” Danny said.
Stacy said it was important for the children to learn about recycling, sustainability and the importance of being involved in the community.
“Teaching them to put back into the community, to be part of a different community as well, with the diverse range of people that Danny has up here as well, so it’s good,” she said.
To avoid being bogged in his wheelchair, Ashley Glove watched on from the side as Cheryl Brown scattered seeds with a smile. Ashley said he was having a good day watching all of the activity.
Brighter Access’ Rob Hook said he was fairly new to the garden, but added that he could see that his clients with disabilities were enjoying their time there. Many deliver the vegetables to the pensioners, and he said it was a good opportunity for them to be a part of the community and meet people.