The way we do things… adding raised beds means welcoming new members from our backlogged waitlist and for us, it is such a shame to see people wait for such an amazing, sustaining, and health-giving community amenity. The Greystones & Kilcoole Community Garden covers a relatively tiny 0.12 acres (0.05ha) of Council property. The garden was founded over a decade ago. Due to our recent (beginning in 2019) reopening and renovation of the garden we now have 24 raised beds in service, each assigned to a different membership.
Our waitlist contains over 25 people seeking a way to grow their own veg near to home. Since we are so limited in space we really don’t market or advertise and therefore it is hard to gauge total community demand — but our waitlist vs capacity suggests there is a high demand and little supply.
It’s an unfortunate situation we are in when a growing local population of approximately 20K people only has 0.12 acres of community gardens. That’s 0.000006 acres (or 0.02 square m) per person with no spaces between!
Despite our wee 0.12 acre yet packed plot, the garden was able to free up just a bit more space for a few new beds. We decided to sacrifice a small grassy area we had used for storing timbers, walking, some strawberries (which we transplanted), and for the occasional picnic in exchange for a place to build three new beds.
This past weekend the members of the garden came together, on a gorgeous and very warm October day, and built 3 more raised beds. The new beds will be made available to new members before the 2022 season begins.
As usual, we began the process by clearing the new area of major tuffs of grass and objects. We then laid down a sheet mulch of cardboard (tape and plastics removed) in a shingle-like pattern to smother grasses. We then placed our timbre frames where we wanted them. Finally, we spread thick layers of bark mulch around the frames to create our 1m wide pathways. Thanks to all our members for making this work possible!
Now that the once gigantic pile of mulch (compliments of Anto’s Tree Service — many thanks!) has been used up we now have space to receive our shipment of topsoil and compost to fill the new beds before we make them available to the new members.
Three beds are not going to make a huge overall dent in the overall community demand but it is still something. For each individual who finds a place to garden, we feel we are making a big impact on those lives and families. In parallel, we are engaged in an effort to help identify and build up new community gardens around the Greystones, Delgany, & Kilcoole area. Please contact us if you would like to team up.