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Murdoch Community Garden – a community growing knowledge and produce.

Communty Gardens in WA are becoming a place to gather, learn, grow and belong. They are often referred to, by those involved, as a welcoming and inclusive space, bringing together the skills and knowledge of the local community.Murdoch Community Garden aerial shot

Kleenheat is the Presenting Partner of the Perth Garden and Outdoor Living Festival. We love a good kitchen cook-up or barbecue session, but we also love supporting local suppliers and producers and encourage growing, sourcing, and eating local produce, so everyone can enjoy homegrown goodness.

We met with the Murdoch Community Gardens to learn more about what they grow and how they are growing their knowledge in the area of food sustainability.

Creating healthy spaces for gardens and the wider community.

Murdoch Community Garden Inc. (MCG) operates as a non-profit, independent, community organisation of volunteers made up of students and staff from Murdoch University as well as local residents of Murdoch and the wider community.

MCG 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. Murdoch Community Garden volunteers gardening

When there is fresh produce available, this is sold at the market days hosted by Murdoch University, which helps fund the Gardens on a yearly basis. The MCG team also encourages market-goers to grow their own food, offering advice and tips for their own gardens.

The Gardens are 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 and effort to maintaining the Gardens.

Experts lending a hand and expertise.

In particular, 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 will often present something that further encourages learning, like her mushroom growing demonstrations or additional learning on 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 and expertise with the Murdoch Gardens community.

Students learning from the best, while growing their own knowledge.

Being based on the Murdoch University campus, students are also encouraged to join in and participate in developing their knowledge and skills while lending their own knowledge to the various activities and projects the garden coordinates.Murdoch Community Garden gardening in wicking beds

Zoe Brennan is the Murdoch Community Gardens President and is also 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 tranquillity 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.”

Feel the need to work on your green thumb skills? Murdoch Community Garden hands planting a seedling in garden bed

The Murdoch Community Gardens are 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.

If you’d like to learn more about them and join them at their next busy bee or any other day, find them on Facebook and via their website murdochcommunitygarden.org.au

Learn more about Community Gardens across Australia.

Happy gardening.


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