Following the success of FoodFaith’s original Lane Cove Planting Seeds project, another community garden will begin to sprout in Mount Druitt within the next year.

FoodFaith , MECA, and Bunnings are coming together to create a community garden in Mount Druitt on the MECA premises to design a learning space for local and social enterprise. The garden will hold educational courses in hopes for refugees and migrants, MECA’s primary focus, to start their own sustainably focused business, as well as learn about gardening and other useful skills.

Who is MECA?

Mount Druitt Ethnic Agency (aka MECA), has been helping us fulfil two of our three projects - Breaking Bread and Rediscovering Recipe Roots. This past Summer, FoodFaith and MECA teamed up and helped run a Refugee Week, which consisted of a celebration for refugees and migrants that included some of their recipes from their culture. As they shared bread and celebrated, we also picked up some of the recipes to add to our recent ebook Rediscovering Our Recipe Roots.

Now, off the back of the success of the original Planting Seeds Garden in Lane Cove, MECA has asked us to help them create their own community garden. The planning has only just begun, and we are excited to see where this garden takes FoodFaith, MECA, Bunnings, and the broader Mount Druitt community.

What is a Community Garden?

We have discussed community gardens in the past, such as in starting a community garden and how it can be successful, but let’s recap on what a community garden is.

Quite simply, a community garden is a garden for the community. It is a patch of land, public or private, with vegetation or a unique floral design that is taken care of by the community. This land can be used to grow vegetables or flowers to the area with an emphasis on community involvement and bringing people together to the garden. Community gardens can be used as a third place, add beauty to an area, grow food, hold courses or classes, create recreational or therapeutic practices, and provide space for everyone to flourish.

It is also a place of learning for new gardeners, too. Some residents do not have the place or skill to nurture a personal garden, so a community garden could teach or allow community members to produce their own shared garden.

Check out what food can grow in each season so you know what to plant and harvest here!

How YOU Can Help - Garden Gathering

The garden planning has only just begun, and since it is a community effort, why not join us!?!? We will be holding meetings throughout the rest of the year to hear your input and ideas for the garden. Come meet with other community members and gardeners to discuss our plans for what the garden has in store. We will be talking about designs, vegetation, activities, and more! The garden is for everyone, so why not have a say in it?  

Look out for reminders or stay in contact with Roseanne through this journey. The meetings will be held in the MECA conference room at 6 Ayres Grove, Mount Druitt.

What are the Benefits of the Community Garden?

Community gardens include many beneficial attributes. Below you will find numerous ways a community garden can help a neighbourhood:

Aesthetics:

  • Create a once vacant area with brilliant colours of vegetation

  • Increase property values

Health:  

  • Improve dietary habits through education

  • Increase physical activity through garden maintenance activities

  • Reduce risk of obesity and obesity-related problems

  • Improve air quality for outdoor living and activities

  • Improve mental health

Education:

  • Improve dietary habits through education

  • Teach residents useful skills in planning, food production, urban agriculture, other cultures and business

  • Gardens can improve economic opportunities by training volunteers and selling food at farmers’ markets

Clean Community:

  • Help improve air and soil quality

  • Increase biodiversity of plants and animals

  • Improves ecology

  • Reduce neighbourhood waste through composting

Food availability:

  • Reduce the hardships of food deserts in low income areas

  • Allow residents access to fresh and nutritious foods

  • Promotes agriculture

  • Increase food and vegetable intake

Social Impact:

  • Reduce environmental issues

  • Increases a sense of ownership and investment in where residents live

  • Connects with neighbours

  • Reduce food miles

  • Gardens in urban areas decline crime rates. Ie Vacant lands lead to crime which impacts the health of residents.

  • Reduce water runoff

Bee-ger Plans for the Community Garden

Our next mission is to implement a Bee highway, (or as we call it, the B&B highway), throughout the city of Sydney to try to bring the birds, bees, and butterflies back to their natural habitat. As the community garden serves a purpose for the community, it was also be one of the many gardens that will attract more than just people. Having this garden be part of the B&B highway will normalise how humans and animals can live in harmony.