Kitchen Garden Guides

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The adventures of my wheelbarrow….

image I packed my gardening tools and some plants into my wheelbarrow and drove it to the community garden and beyond….

It has been raining A LOT lately and the community garden has, once again, succumbed to its regular winter look, resembling the estuary that it really is. I decided we should not get depressed about it; we should make it into some fun. So, first step, we got a leaky old dinghy, filled it with plants and launched it into the swamp.


We employed child labour to help with jobs like mulching fruit trees and sorting oca…..



Then we continued on down the main street of Cygnet….

image And, we did it! Two others from the community garden and I took my plants and planted them into the library garden, quietly, in broad daylight and guess what? The librarians came out to see what was going on…. and…. they said…. “Wow this is wonderful; we’ve been wanting to have herbs and vegies here for ages!” People passed in and out of the library, chatting away to us and it was all a bit of a non-event, actually!

This changing attitude of taking charge of our future ourselves, while politicians fight amongst themselves in big buildings, is very liberating. When I first approached the library 2 years ago, in response to their advertisement for a volunteer gardener, I was told I had to fill in forms and get a police clearance, because I might come into contact with children in the library garden!! I got caught up in red tape and was tied up in knots by a silly, officious woman on the other end of the phone. It took 6 months for the police clearance to be granted and by then I was so over the whole idea that I did not ever make a start.

Now, however, 4 people turning up unannounced and planting food without permission is applauded….. my, my, how things change! I wish I had just started planting things 2 years ago, but I was from the city, so new to this country town at the bottom of the world. Now, people know me and I know their faces too. I have a market stall, I write for the local papers and shop in the main street. Somehow this, I think, means I have credibility; its ok for me to garden at the library because I write about gardening, in the papers and I live in the town.

image I was getting rather peckish by the time we’d finished and, since I had to walk home right past the door of my friend Jane’s School House Coffee Shop, I parked my trusty wheelbarrow in a 1 hour park right by the door, and went in for a bite of lunch.

Now, isn’t this the parking lot of the future? Imagine if people drove their wheelbarrows to the shops and cafes where you live. Its so versatile; plenty of room for shopping, swapping and your gardening tools as well. It is pleasant walking along with a wheelbarrow and the extra effort of going uphill would keep us all fit. Its like riding a bike, only better!

I’d love to organise a drive-your-wheelbarrow-to-town, day and I bet Jane would love to host a get together in the cafe garden….. we could even do some gardening for her….

Life is good; but its up to us to make it so.


africanaussie said...

When you said you loaded up your wheelbarrow and drove it into town I never thought you meant just you and the wheelbarrow. How lovely! Glad that the planting at the library went well.

Maggie said...

Good one Kate!
Wish I was game enough to take my barrow to Doof Doof!
Bought some wonderful broccoli and zucchini grown by Tony Scarfo from Wilsons this week.
Maybe I shall wheel little Marnie to Chooks one day.
Stay warm.

Anonymous said...

It's called Guerrilla gardening, check it out online. Tassie or Cygnet could def benefit from a group, if it isn't already happening!

Bruise Mouse said...

This is great. It is so lovely that the librarians welcomed your efforts.
Another win for community gardening efforts!

Anonymous said...

Hey just found your post! I am one of the librarians! I think it is awesome that you did this. I study full time (atm) and working doesn't leave me much time for anything else other than getting my garden together. When I finish my study next year, I hope to contribute to this planting. Personally what a load of bullocks and red tape hey? its just a bloody garden for god sake. PPL take things way too seriously now days. I truely believe you just have to do what it is you want to do and bypass all that crap. Most of the time they don't know what is going on anyhow. JUST DO IT! There is so much potential it breaks my heart to see so much space wasted to decorative plants. Whilst I love ALL plants, there is a real requirement to be self sustaining - no one here should have to go hungry. if we replaced all those non edible plantings in council strips, our yards, where ever with edible ones, everyone could just go and help themselves - including any native wildlife.
Sorry if this sounds like a rant, it's just that i feel you understand this, when so many others don't and I'm so glad you've taken the initiative and just done it. We love our library garden and we know that it will only grow in time :)