Community gardens

gardening beds at the Fern Avenue community garden

Fern Avenue community garden

The City of Unley leases the Fern Avenue site to a large community group to grow fruit and vegetables and learn about organic gardening.

All residents are welcome to apply for one of the available plots for cultivation, although the plots are very popular and a waiting list may apply. Gardeners are asked to refrain from using chemical pesticides or fertilisers on their plot to comply with the garden's organic ethos.

The garden hosts a straw-bale building, built by volunteers, where organic gardening courses are held regularly throughout the year. The courses include a broad range of topics including pest control, plant propagation, soil preparation, composting and companion planting.

The building also has a composting toilet which operates along similar principles to home compost bins and requires no water for flushing.

The garden is open to visitors on Thursdays from 9 am to 11 am. Working bees are organised for the second Saturday or Sunday of the month. The garden closes if the temperature is more than 35 degrees.

For information about the Organic Gardening Courses run by Alternative 3, please contact Fern Avenue coordinator Jill Skopal on on 8271 5430 or email jillskopal@adam.com.au.

To find out how you can get involved, contact Cecile Storrie by phoning 8274 1156 or by email at oranhinga@internode.on.net.


The Goody Patch

The Goody Patch is located at 12-12A Surrey Street, Goodwood.

Visit the Goody Patch Community Garden website.

Morrie Harrell Reserve

In 2012, more than 40 local residents, Elected Members and Council staff came together to plant 71 fruit and nut trees in the Morrie Harrell playground and reserve. The trees included stone fruit, citrus, apples, pears, mulberries, walnuts, macadamias, almonds, chestnuts and guavas.

For a relatively small start-up cost, this innovative trial makes more fresh food available and can lessen the impact of the rising costs of fresh produce on the local community. Reflecting our Food Security Strategy and supported by our Community Sustainability Advisory Group, this is a new way to engage with public space - creating a productive environment ideally suited to social interaction.

This trial came from community-minded individuals 'thinking outside the square' who believed such a project would potentially be more beneficial than simply replacing specimens which had been removed with something similar. This is not a formal, fenced and exclusive community garden; instead the fruit and nuts produced by these trees belong to the community and anyone accessing the reserve can share them.

By involving the community from the initial planning stages, through the planting and maintaining of the trees, it's hoped the local community will feel ownership of this site and will be interested in helping look after the site and also inspire people to grow food in their own gardens.

We will monitor the success of this experimental plot and work with the community to increase awareness of food security issues within the City of Unley, and also to build up local expertise for the purpose of maintaining the trees.