Growing together in the community garden

Community stories: 23 April 2019

Zeehan is an isolated community on Tasmania’s west coast and supports mining, tourism and fish farming industries. Zeehan Neighbourhood Centre (ZNC) works with other west coast service providers to provide programs, services and opportunities that support, connect and encourage the local community.

An ANZ Seeds of Renewal grant for $5,599 enabled ZNC to create an intergenerational project that engaged a cross section of the community in the building of a vegetable garden. Community members of all ages came together to build their gardening skills and grow their networks, with a focus on informal skills sharing and development.

While there were a few challenges in sourcing the plants and materials required for the garden, and then further delays following a long and wet winter, the result was a garden planned and built by the community, looked after by the community and eaten by the community, that has resulted in the development of new friendships and social circles.

ZNC Manager Mel Crosbie said that the skill-sharing aspect of the project had given a number of community members a boost to their confidence, along with a sense of belonging and need in the community.

“We now have the children from playgroup and kids’ club watering and weeding the garden and enjoying watching the plants grow. Many of our seniors have enjoyed sitting and watching others in the garden, and also participating themselves.”