In 2017, Picton Smart + Connected raised the idea of a Community Garden for Picton. The concept quickly gained support from the community and, in principle, from Council. However, the project at that time needed to be put on hold due to capacity issues.
The idea of a community garden has now been picked up again with Picton Smart + Connected passing the baton to Envirohub Marlborough who will take the lead.
Envirohub Marlborough has become a successful not-for-profit organisation that is well established in the Picton community. They are based at Picton Environment Centre (14 Auckland Street) where they share the space with Picton Dawn Chorus and Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary.
Envirohub Marlborough has appointed Wendy Sullivan (formerly of DOC and currently employed by NZ Landcare Trust), as the Picton Community Garden Project Manager to set up the garden.
Wendy says “With smaller section sizes and the trend towards downsizing, many keen gardeners (or gardeners to be) don't have the space to grow vegetables and fruit for their table. Their food will be fresh, seasonal, and spray (and sneeze) free. The community garden has the added benefits of providing social space for learning from each other and developing new friendships”.
The aim of the project is to provide a public space to grow vegetables in a way that will foster sustainable and healthy food production. It will provide education and skill development and promote a peaceful surrounding for social interaction and development while bringing our community together.
Our vision is to provide a range of individual garden plots of varying sizes, some common spaces containing fruit and nut trees, flower beds, herb beds and facilities such as sheds, space for workshops, composting bins and more.
The garden would also have community plots which are managed by volunteers to provide kai for those in need, and be distributed via the food bank, the Marae and other organisations.
The community garden will be run using organic principals. Mentors and regular workshops will allow the members to learn about and incorporate these practices into their individual plots.
The overall layout of the garden would be designed by a landscape architect to ensure that coherent public spaces are created that foster and encourage a sense of community.
The group establishing the garden are currently working with Council to identify an appropriate site and performing community consultation with residents and Picton groups.