Fruit and vegetables may be flourishing in this garden, but so is friendship and the joy which comes from giving something back to the community.
The Ken Yule Community Garden is proof, from little things big things grow; and is the brainchild of Year 8 student Katie Brooks of Redcliffe State High School .
Part of the school’s Interact club, Katie was looking for a community project when she remembered an article she read in the National Geographic kids magazine about the value of community gardens.
Luckily, Chris Brown, the Scarborough Masonic Lodge’s Master Mason, was keen to create a community garden on its grounds. The teacher who works with the Interact club is his wife Julie, and she was able to connect the two.
Starting with potatoes in April 2018, they now have pumpkin, broccoli, chilli, spinach, carrots, herbs, snow peas, cucumbers, strawberries, tomatoes, eggplants and more. There’s a roster for watering, to ensure the garden receives a drink every day and they have a weekend working bee usually every month or so for about three hours.
All produce which they grow is donated to Encircle at Redcliffe to help feed people doing it tough.
“It feels good to help the community and giving back is part of ‘soaring above and beyond’,” Katie Brooks says quoting the school motto.
Fellow students and gardeners Alexander Zillmann and Katie Gorski say it’s exciting to watch crops grow and watch their efforts making a difference.
Friendships have also blossomed in the garden and Julie says it’s lovely to hear students chatting while they work.
Parents and siblings are also joining in the fun.
Julie says that the students have been able to taste some of their produce, which has assisted them in learning the value of growing and enjoying fresh fruit and vegetables, and trying new things.
The project has been supported by the Order of the Eastern Star, the Rotary Club of Redcliffe City and Redcliffe Men’s Shed, among others.
At this point there are no plans to expand the garden — its present size is just right. But the team will soon be using an old garden at school to raise seeds and grow crops that require closer monitoring.
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