The Fusion Food Relief Veggie Garden in Hobart launches into a new chapter this summer with the opening of the Hot House on 17 December.
From a small beginning in 2014, the Fusion Food Relief Veggie Garden at Forest Glen has grown from an initial harvest of 127 kilograms of fresh produce to a staggering 960 kilograms last season! This will expand further in the coming year when the new Hot House will provide the opportunity to harvest crops throughout the year. “This Hot House will not only give us the scope to perhaps double our output, but to also grow a greater variety of produce and enable year-round harvesting,” enthuses Fusion Food Relief Veggie Garden Coordinator, Susan Rowe.
Established in response to needs identified by local churches, the Garden provides fresh produce through two local churches and the neighbourhood Community Centre who distribute it to local families in need. “This Garden is giving families fresh veggies, they otherwise wouldn’t get; and it’s healthy too!” shares Ann Kingsbury, program coordinator at Kingborough Family Church.
The project is becoming well-known and loved within the community. The new Hot House was repurposed from the nearby Antarctic Division site through the Kingborough Council’s Community Grants program. Local volunteers and young people in Fusion’s Mentoring program worked together to erect the structure and a large team of volunteers young and old regularly tend the garden, planting, pruning and harvesting, to make the supply of locally grown, free and fresh vegetables possible.
“We’re enjoying the very practical partnerships with the local churches and community centre,” says Susan. “It’s great to be part of growing a community that supports and cares for others in a hands-on way.”
Around the country, Fusion centres are constantly looking for practical ways to partner with churches and others of goodwill. Whether through Families parenting courses, community festivals, youth programs and activities, accommodation support services, play groups or even veggie gardens, we’re seeing communities come alive when we share the challenges, resources and opportunities with each other.
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