Last year we made over 100 litres of soup and 100 salads from garden produce for our twice weekly worker’s lunches ( 100 + lunches – for 500+ people). 1000+ jars of pickles were distributed to volunteers and sold at market days for fundraising. Over 1 tonne of compost was made available free to the community. We provided ½ tonne of free firewood from unusable timber for the community between April – August 2018. All was dried and bagged and went quickly during the winter.
A broad area of service delivery, extending from the involvement of individuals on WINZ ‘Job Connects’ contracts to playcentres and afterschool programmes. our work so far has been aimed mainly at primary level, but we would welcome the involvement of intermediate and secondary school pupils and teachers.
Police Youth Aid
Over the past few years we have also provided placements for young people from Police Youth Aid. It is very satisfying to provide young people with a friendly productive environment in which to complete their hours. We also enjoy working with Police Youth Aid Officer, Andrew Ross. There are substantial benefits to the community and much valuable work done. While not volunteers as such, most appreciate the opportunity to contribute to the community in a meaningful way. The young people involved all have the opportunity to obtain a work reference from us.
Community Waste Minimisation Project
The Christchurch South Minimisation Project is an initiative which has been developing since 2000. It is a unique example of local decentralised waste management and is a dynamic contributor to neighbourhood sustainability. The gardens continues to function as a repository for community waste with plastic plant pots, plastic bags and glass jars welcomed by us. All of this work is done by hands on shovels. It is estimated that the total cost saving to the community of all operations would exceed $100,000 p.a.
Beckenham Community Garden and Landscape Project
In July 2012 we took over the care of a vacant commercial site next to Harding’s Chemist in Beckenham – passed over to us by Gap Filler. We have a ‘licence to occupy’ agreement with owner, Eve Harding, who had the initial mural done. Our garden is a temporary use of the space until it is required by the owners.. In February 2014 we achieved a Merit Award from the Horticultural Society for this site ( Summer Garden Competition). With now only fortnightly maintenance required it is a pleasure to create something cheerful, pleasing and practical for Beckenham residents and businesses.
Physical Benefits of Gardening Research Project
This is now the principle onsite research project for students on placement from ARA and Canterbury University studying a range of health – related topics. Each year we make further progress and collect and analyse more data. Since the presentation of the initial study to the Public Health Association NZ Conference in October 2017, 4 other students from the UC BA in Health Science have progressed the research.