Author: Christine

2022 Autumn Market Day Saturday April 23rd 10am – 1pm

2022 Autumn Market Day

Saturday April  23th 10-2pm
Christchurch South Community Gardens
188 Strickland Street, Sydenham
Plants, Produce , Preserves
Sausage Sizzle ~ Hot Soup ~ Baking ( ANZAC BISCUITS + MORE!)

Wear a Mask Please – Cash Only

Free Visitor Pickle Prize

Contact Christine Blance (03) 9426630


WHAT’S HAPPENING ? ~ AUTUMN 2019 ~ Our 20th Anniversary in the Community – see our events page for more info

While we attempt to recover from the shock of recent events,  the Autumn garden calls. It is a welcome call – working quietly in the garden is comforting. It is important we continue planting the last of the leafy greens before the soil temperatures drop.  Plants going into winter need to be as big as possible ( but not going to seed) as growth will slow down from now until August. The objective is to have big  luscious leaves for winter so don’t be tempted to pick the leaves too soon. We are planting  pak choi, silverbeet, cabbage, kale, broccoli and cauliflower.

It is a good time to repot plants, check for disease and make compost to stock pile for spring.  We are also preparing to make our annual batch of organic spray and have cleaned up our glasshouse first with vinegar – then with baking soda to protect against disease during the colder months. We are especially proud of our peaches, date palms and olive trees – all grown from stones and pits.  Date palms can make elegant pot plants under cover in a sunny space or  in a frost free area of your garden. Dry the pits from fresh dates on newspaper then plant  on a sandy soil mix in a deep tub, cover with more soil and place in a protected area / glasshouse. Dates are very slow growing and may take  up to one year to emerge – so don’t give up too soon and take care not to over water – they prefer to be a bit dry.

We hope you can join us in a few weeks at our Community Garden Autumn Market day – April 13th –  188 Strickland St, Sydenham


For more information Contact: Christine Blance:



2018 Autumn Market Day – Saturday March 31st 10-1pm

Christchurch South Community Gardens

2018 Autumn Market Day 

Saturday March 31st ( Easter Saturday) 

10-1pm   ~~ 188 Strickland St, Sydenham





Summer Market Day 2017


Saturday 9th December 10am – 1pm


188 Strickland Street, Sydenham

Plants, Produce, Preserves, Baking

Looking forward to seeing you here on the day – volunteers needed for summer watering roster

Enquiries: Ph. 9426630 ( Christchurch South Community Gardens Resource Centre)

Good Quality Second – Hand Bikes For Sale On The Day 




AT THE GARDENS ~ 188 Strickland Street, Sydenham, ChCh

Come along for plants, produce, preserves , delicious baked goods
heirloom tomato plants for sale
good variety of pumpkin, squash , zucchini
cold drinks – Try our plum & lemon verbena cordial
Lucky visitor pickle basket prize
Enquiries: Ph. 9426630 ( Christine / office)

Community Gardens Life: Participation

People often ask when they stop by  – so who works here?  On-site volunteer workers include an average of 80 people p.a ( approx 15 p er week) and 3-4 paid staff . Paid staff are in my view critical to the capacity development, maintenance and stability of a community garden and provide the support and resources required by volunteers and the community. We have three main volunteer days – Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.  Tuesday is often spent off site on our two other sites and Friday is set aside for meetings and  administration.  Our weekend is Sunday and Monday so in the summer, help with watering on those days is much appreciated. . The work, like that of any  small farm is incredibly varied and suits those of a practical bent.

The rewards for volunteers working here on a regular basis are free resources ( plants, produce, preserves, compost etc..) and a free lunch twice a week. There are naturally other intangible and intrinsic rewards such as companionship, social support and learning. Enjoying lunch from the crops grown is important in order to enjoy the fruits of our labour and gives us time to sit down and talk about the work and relax together. At this time of the year we are having soup and toast made from autumn produce stored in the freezer and root crops growing in the garden now. In summer we have salad and rolls. We function as a workplace with a lunch break – so its back to work until afternoon tea-break, after which most volunteers head off. The average time spent here is 4 hours – usually 10.30 – 2.30. In the summer months we can still be working at sundown if the mood and weather takes us.

So what do we do on rainy days? We make pickles and preserves for fundraising, process seeds, clean and tidy the resource centre and sheds and have a covered potting shed so a bit of weather means we can get other work done and carry on with propagating plants.

If you take a look at our statistics page you will notice that a relatively small number of 80 volunteers facilitate the opportunity for the majority ( 4500+ ) of other participants visiting for plants and produce, advice and recreation, dropping off recycling, and for education ( school visits, student placements etc..)  or professional purposes. These people are as much participants as the volunteers and staff, are important to us and help us  contribute to our goal of supporting a sustainable community. We provide resources and grow crops for the wider community who participate by accessing them .  While the number of these participants we can reasonably count is up to 5000 people, I would estimate that we provide services for an additional 5000 people in terms of indirect and passive benefit. That’s  10,000 – the standard size for a ‘community’ or’ neighbourhood’ for research purposes.

We very much enjoy interacting with people utilising the site as a resource. I personally enjoy engaging with strangers.  Even discussing our harvesting policy with plunderers is satisfying in the sense that these exchanges need to be done face to face to back up the various notices about harvesting and to model ( or at least experiment with)  what a trust-based economy might look like in the flesh.

In the previous post I spoke of the less than desirable attitude of those few who act disdainfully towards the workers here while helping themselves to produce. Detachment from or avoidance of face to face interaction with real people is a  growing problem in our society. Community gardens create opportunities for participation in neighbourhood productivity and purposeful interaction while educating about fair sharing and trust in an increasingly competitive society.