Kensington Neighbourhood House (KNH), Christ Church Kensington (CCK) and local sustainable permaculture designer Jacqui van Heerden have been working together on plans to redevelop the Church garden grounds at 76 McCracken Street, Kensington to provide a place of wellbeing for the local community. Wellbeing that extends from supporting the local community with healthy nutritious food, fruit, flowers and herbs to the bird and insect life, the microorganisms and soil. The City of Melbourne have granted us funding to develop the design and plans and a second round of funding for implementation of the new garden.
The vision is to create a new garden that is sustainable, beautiful and edible.
CCK are keen to activate their grounds and improve the garden spaces to be more sustainable long-term as well as engaging the community to come together. We facilitate opportunities for people of all abilities, backgrounds and ages to participate in programs and form social connections. This makes for an ideal partnership.
We have engaged the local community and have adapted our Herb Share Program into a new model where we have dropped the annual fee, expanded the membership and changed the management structure. Our working title for the new program is Food Share Garden – in McCracken Street.
Through this garden we aim to provide an opportunity for people to be involved in their local community and collaborate. It’s a way for locals to contribute to sustainability and learn gardening skills while also gaining free access to locally grown, chemical free, organic, nutritious food.
Through sustainable design the biodiversity will be enhanced and more food will be grown locally, reducing food miles and packaging waste, and address environmental climate challenges.
The idea is to develop spaces in a style whereby companion plants are chosen that support each other, growing in natural settings that are low maintenance. The existing 16 garden beds will remain part of the garden. A site analysis has occurred assessing shade, sunlight, the microclimates, soil and wind and the plans are responsive to these conditions.
New garden areas will include; grass and native flower meadow, a Mediterranean grove including waves of herbs and a succulent arc, a citrus grove, mini apple and almond arc garden, a small mint garden and berry garden.
The next steps are to continue to engage the local community (including community groups and schools) in the garden establishment and care, and garden use and to implement the new garden areas in early 2020 via community working bees. Get in touch with us if you would like more info!