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8 April, 2022

Community garden bounty benefits locals

FOR a decade, Ravenshoe green thumbs have been cultivating their own community garden where each member pitches in with their time and hands, earning a bounty of the garden’s yield for their hard work.

By Rhys Thomas

Erika Goodall, Shaelene Spiteri and Melinda Mahon enjoy working in the Ravenshoe community garden.

The Ravenshoe Community Garden is based at the local Community Centre where locals gather and cultivate many different species of fruit, vegetable, legumes, seeds, medicinal plants and more. 

People who help grow the garden get their fair share of the garden’s yield come harvest and whatever is left over is donated to the community centre for use in crisis relief for families in need. 

The garden was originally cultivated by Julianne Hartman and Robert Swaine in 2012 with the current caretakers, Twiggy Dawn and Erika Goodall, taking over as organisers in the past five years. 

“We’ve got a really unique set up, we’re located at the Ravenshoe Community Centre so it’s all one community hub,” Twiggy said. 

“There’s the youth shed here, the elderly respite offices, the aboriginal women’s corporation office and lots of different offices here and the community garden kind of weaves its way all around the buildings.

“We’ve got this beautiful and symbiotic relationship with all of the office workers here and the community centre itself – they all love being able to step out of the office and see organic fruit, vegetables and medicine growing all around them.” 

The garden grows an array of different produce from Okras, bananas, papaws and six different varieties of mustard – a section of the garden is even dedicated to medicinal plants and herbs. 

Anywhere between five to 15 volunteers could pop into the garden to help, undertaking tasks from growing produce to making composting bins. 

The Ravenshoe Community Garden has been recognised for its importance in the community, winning three different awards from Tablelands Regional Council including a community garden, vegetable garden award and a community service award.

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