Stories—

Cultivating Community Gardens

Location: Railway St, Moss Vale, NSW

“However, you find out, we’d love for you to join us on the first Sunday of every month” – Such an open invitation is put on the notice board of the Moss Vale Community Garden (MVCG) website.1 With the aim of living together sustainably through planting fruits and vegetables to share and encouraging others to join in the gardening practice in 2004 Together in Highlands community group formed. Later in 2008, the Garden became known as MVCG to help ‘people create their own space’.2 It was hoped that it would provide a stimulus for a socially and environmentally innovative space through community gardens that could be replicated in every Highland town. 

MVCG is run by people and volunteers of all ages and abilities who want to get their hands dirty in gardening and want to grow their own food. Volunteers do most of the works. In exchange they can pick fruits and vegetables that are ready for picking. Spare produces are sold to the wider community. MVCG also propagate seeds and plants that are local and have heritage value. Seed and plants are sold in the market in every fourth Sunday of the month. MVCG is committed to recycle and reuse everything possible within its activities.

MVCG has developed into an education centre for the local area, and promoting the importance of caring for the environment, recycling and reducing waste and, with a permaculture influence, demonstrating how to grow and enjoy food together at the garden and at home. Specific activities and workshops include – grafting, compost making, worm harvesting, cheese making, seed-raising, seed-saving, plant propagation and anything (e.g. basket making) that relates to the garden and to farmers.

MVCG has grown into an innovative platform for both young and old who can socialise through gardening and work together over a ‘home made pizza’3. Since 2016 onward, MVCG has started to go ‘beyond the fences’, started to cultivate lands outside its premise with pants and vegetables. It aims to welcome communities to mingle and do activities.

Figure 1: Young and old working together in MVCG
Figure 2: MVCG World Environment Day Launch with Council
Figure 3: Pizza oven run by own energy source (solar panel)
Figure 4: Prize winning produce at the Moss Vale Agricultural Show

1 http://mossvalecommunitygarden.org.au/

2 Interview with the NGO official

3 Moss Vale Community garden video by Red Cup Films – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mee9_ydi4Tk