Youth and community centre garden is starting to take seed

The Cobar Youth & Community Centre community garden project received a boost on Monday with StormCo students and supervisors from the Avondale School helping to plant out some of the garden beds. ▪ Photo contributed

A community project that has been in the planning for some months is now starting to take seed with a community garden at the Cobar Youth & Community Centre on its way to helping the centre be partially self-sufficient.

Cobar Shire Council’s grants officer Bethany Smith said the community garden project was funded through the Western NSW Local Health District, Health Promotion Team.

She said the idea to create a community garden grew from the youth centre’s “free fruit bowl” initiative.

Originally they had been able to offer free fruit to users with the help of NSW Government funding, but when that funding ran out, they had to rely on donations from community members.

“Since this application we have received funding from Peak. However, applying for this grant to create a community garden felt like the right step to ensure youth had continued reliable access to free fruit and produce,” Ms Smith said.

The new garden can be accessed by any community member that attends the centre. Youth are encouraged to get involved in watering, maintaining and picking the produce.

“Youthie kids helped plant six fruit trees in May this year including two oranges, two lemons, one mandarin and one lime tree in the hope of eventually being able to supply the centre with free fruit,” Ms Smith said.

“Youth have prepped the area, raked, weeded, picked up leaves etc and also planted seedlings in propagation containers.

“StormCo were searching for community service work, so they have helped with the remaining shovelling of dirt and sand into our garden beds and sandpit with the help of more Youthie kids,” she said.

“Now the garden beds are prepped we plan on holding a ‘garden day’ to plant vegetables.”

Ms Smith said they are happily taking any advice or recommendations from any “green thumbs” in the community on to what to plant and welcome any local tips for growing a successful garden.