Growing the community

2018 Veggies for All wrap up – what a year!

In June 2019, SAGE received a $17,990 grant from the Illawarra Mutual Bank (IMB) Community Foundation to run Veggies for All 2018.

We were very lucky to have SAGE’s first intern, biodynamic farmer Kyle Levier, run six workshops in July and August 2018. These were held in a number of venues across the Eurobodalla, including the Tuross Head Community Garden, Tuross Head Men’s Shed, Narooma Men’s Shed, Batemans Bay Men’s Shed and of course the SAGE Garden in Moruya. For just $15.00 each, 180 people participated in the workshops which included:

  • learning the basics of how to successfully grow veggies and herbs, particularly in raised veggie garden beds
  • printed information for good local suppliers, a planting guide and composting guide
  • seedlings to get started
  • a good feed and a cup of tea or coffee

The unstoppable team of Robert Cove and Kathryn Maxwell then swung into gear to organise installation of a whopping 86 raised veggie beds in the homes of Centrelink recipients, all before the end of 2018. That was more than 1.5 times the number of beds installed in 2017. This year, the team provided 4 choices of veggie bed design to enable a better fit for people’s needs and space requirements. Kathryn was able to marshall an amazing team of volunteers which included:

  • Annette Greer
  • Anne Thompson
  • Terry McGee
  • Geoff Scott
  • Dana Rote
  • Steve Smith
  • Steve Ryder
  • Ken and Anne Parker
  • Greg Campbell
  • Leo Demchy
  • Wayne Brockman
  • Andrew Baker
  • Julie Klugman
  • Jenny Peters
  • Robert Newberry
  • Daniel
  • Wendy Jones

On each trip, the team heads out to Bodalla to collect the wonderful veggie soil mix from D & A Excavators. The team then convoys out to people’s houses, sets up the veggie bed frame, wheelbarrows the soil into the bed and covers it with sugar cane mulch. The lucky recipient is then given a $10 voucher for seedlings from Phil Timms (SAGE Farmers Market and Moruya Country Market). Beds were installed as far south as Bermagui and as far north as Surfside.

Despite the heat and humidity we managed to install significantly more garden beds than the target of 70 we had in the grant application. Big highlights include:

  • installing a number of beds at the Tuross Head Community Garden
  • being assisted by the Tuross Head Men’s Shed to install nearly 30 veggie beds around Tuross Head (what an amazing, connected community of gardeners!)
  • restocking the two very large veggie beds at the Moruya Women’s Refuge

Kathryn Maxwell and Robert Cove will be running another workshop in March 2019 in partnership with Anglicare. If you would like to attend please send an email to veggiesforall@sageproject.org.au or call/text 0467 558 656 to register.

SAGE is also submitting another IMB community grant application for Veggies for All 2019. This time, we’ve got even bigger plans. We will be seeking funding to establish an entirely new community garden for Moruya in the grounds of St John’s Anglican Church on Page Street and to run 4 more workshops and install yet another 40 veggie beds for Centrelink recipients or community organisations.

Veggies for All continues to go from strength to strength, growing the growers one backyard at a time!

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