Yackandandah is an historic country town tucked away in foothills of the Stanley State Forest in north east Victoria. It is a warm place with a well-connected community and a ‘can-do’ attitude that sees this little town punching well above its weight in making things happen. So when this little town decided they wanted a community garden, you just knew it was going to happen….somehow.
In February 2009, bushfires of unprecedented size and ferocity swept across regional Victoria. During the worst days of the firestorms, 173 people lost their lives and over 2,000 homes were destroyed. In all, more than 50 townships in remote rural and regional areas of Victoria were affected. Assistance of every kind came from across Australia as a nation sought to help those affected by the bushfires. Community leaders emerged who worked long and selflessly to assist in the rebuilding process. Neighbour helped neighbour, friendships were forged, acquaintances became connected and together the community started to recover. It was in this spirit of community renewal that the Community Based Gardening Project was conceived.
Some good news from the European Union this week where a two year restriction on the use of neonicotinoid chemicals, the world’s most used insecticide has been introduced to take effect from 1st December 2013. This decision is a result of strong community lobbying based on increasing scientific evidence that links the use of neonicotinoid chemicals to the serious decline in bee populations across North America and Europe.
Amidst the towering Mountain Ash forests of the Kinglake Ranges in Victoria, sit the two small conjoined communities of Toolangi & Castella. In 2009, the Black Saturday Bush Fires swept unrelentingly across this mountainside, with many properties and lives lost. But amid this devastation and loss the resilience of a united community shone through. And so three years later, on a perfect late spring morning in November, locals and guests gathered to celebrate the opening of not one, but four separate community driven projects that are all testimony to the strength and passion of the people of this district for their mountain home.
Jindivick Community Garden, at Kydd Parke Reserve in Jindivick is participating in West Gippsland’s Festival of Gardens – Gardivalia, for the first time over the weekends of October 20th/21st and 27th/28th. The garden is open each day from 10am to 4pm.
This is a new and very picturesque community garden. It has been built entirely by the community and has been designed to be a shared community space for gardeners and non-gardeners alike. The majority of the plants in the garden are edible including fruit producing trees, scented shrubs and vegetables grown in raised garden beds. But this is also a memorial garden, with many local people choosing to donate a tree to the garden in honour of a loved family member or friend.