Kaiapoi Community Gardens new cottage community asset

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By SHELLEY TOPP

The inviting aroma of bone broth cooking provided a warm welcome inside the Kaiapoi Community Gardens new cottage last week.

Volunteers at the garden held a soup and bone-broth workshop inside the cottage which was opened in March.

The garden is on the Kaiapoi Borough School’s playing field at the bottom of Hilton St. The school uses the garden’s resources to help with their Garden to Table Programme grow, harvest, prepare and share.

Helen Roberts established the garden in March 2010 with support from a group of other keen gardeners who wanted to share their knowledge in gardening.

The garden is now managed by the Kaiapoi Community Garden Trust committee, a small advisory team, a co-ordinator and a group of volunteers.

Their aim is to provide a sustainable community garden in Kaiapoi that provides opportunities for people to learn about gardening and healthy eating in a friendly, welcoming space.

The idea for an indoor community space at the garden began in 2015 with an offer from the school of an unwanted classroom building.

The gardeners recognised the possibilities an indoor space could provide at the garden, including an area for workshops, a place to sit and sort seeds on a winters day and to have a cuppa on wet days, plus electricity and a toilet.

The original building offered by the school turned out to be “too challenging” for the project. However, the schools old dental surgery building was also surplus to requirements but considered perfect for the garden.

“Many people helped to ensure that the building was successfully moved across the road to the garden,” garden co-ordinator Debbie Nelson said.

“Steve Ryder took on the task of building supervisor. Kings House Removals did an incredible job of trucking it into position and our wonderful Menz Shed members took on the huge task of refurbishment.’

It is hoped that the new facility will attract more people to the garden, including those with young families.

“We are looking at expanding the outdoor area to include a children’s area with a mud kitchen, veggie bed and sand pit,” Debbie said.

The garden is open Monday and Wednesday from 10am to 12 noon in summer and 11am to 1pm in winter and also the last Saturday morning every month.