Community gardens in WA are becoming places for local communities to gather, learn, grow and belong.
Kleenheat is the Presenting Partner of the Perth Garden and Outdoor Living Festival. We love supporting local suppliers and producers and encourage the growing, sourcing, and eating of local produce.
We met with the volunteer team at the Murdoch Community Garden to learn more about what they grow and how they are developing their knowledge around food sustainability.
Creating healthy spaces for gardens and the community.
Murdoch Community Garden Inc. (MCG) operates as a non-profit, independent, community organisation, with a volunteer base made-up of students and staff from Murdoch University, local Murdoch residents and the wider community.
It offers the community a chance to join in and learn about gardening and sustainable living, in a safe, inclusive, and comfortable environment.
The MCG grows native plants, vegetables, herbs, nuts, and fruits in communal garden beds and wicking beds.
When there is fresh produce available, it’s sold at market days hosted by Murdoch University. The proceeds raised help to fund the Garden on a yearly basis. The MCG team also encourages marketgoers to grow their own food and offers advice and tips for their gardens.
The Garden is supported by Murdoch University and the Murdoch Student Guild, as well as the volunteer base and wider community who contribute donations, in addition to their time maintaining the Garden.
Experts lending a hand and expertise.
Dr. Janene Sproul, an Education Lecturer at Murdoch University, enjoys taking time out of her day to join the MCG during their busy bee events, which are held every Tuesday afternoon.
At these events, she often presents something that further encourages learning, like mushroom growing demonstrations or information about how science and nature come together.
“Part of what we’re looking at is circular sustainability, we’re redirecting out of landfill to recycle here in the compost and then growing mushrooms from the compost,” she said.
“We try to mimic nature so that we have a productive use of land without damaging land, that’s what permaculture is all about.”
Janene is just one of the volunteers with areas of expertise, sharing their knowledge with the Murdoch Garden’s community.
Students learning from the best, while growing their knowledge.
As the garden is on the Murdoch University campus, students are encouraged to join in and develop their knowledge and skills while lending their own expertise to the various activities and projects the garden coordinates.
Zoe Brennan is the Murdoch Community Garden President and a student at Murdoch University.
She enjoys learning about ways to incorporate nature and living in a more sustainable way. Her experience so far adds valuable insight to her degree in Sustainable Development.
“It’s important to make your supply chain from ground to table, as small as possible. There’s a lot involved in growing your own produce; it can be tricky starting off by yourself, but I’ve learnt a lot. We have several different experts who come by and teach us things. We have Janene, she’s trying to get everyone into science education and being out in the dirt, is a great way to learn,” she said.
Community Gardens offer peace and tranquillity, even on busy bee days.
The main objectives for the MCG team are to focus on maintaining water-wise gardens for food production and to promote the value of gardening and living sustainably.
Since Zoe joined in 2020, she has participated in and now coordinates the Gardens. Zoe enjoys the tranquility and sense of community that comes with a garden environment surrounded by urban development, especially on busy bee days.
“Typically on a busy bee afternoon we do lots of gardening, so planting vegetables, filling wicking beds, watering, planting seedlings, a bit of maintenance, weeding, compost turning – and we drink lots of tea.”
Want to work on your green thumb skills?
The Murdoch Community Garden is located on Campus Drive within Murdoch University’s Environmental Technology Centre.
The MCG is open to everyone to join and learn more about growing and living sustainably.
You can also learn more about other Community gardens across Australia.
Value that flows through your household and community
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Our Community Grants program also supports local groups and organisations doing great things in communities across the Northern Territory and regional Western Australia.