Bundanoon Community Garden quest for new home

The Bundanoon Community Garden committee is looking for someone to help move their pizza oven. 	Photo: SHN
The Bundanoon Community Garden committee is looking for someone to help move their pizza oven. Photo: SHN

How do you move an established community garden? Just like Noah's Ark as it transpires.

President of Bundanoon Community Garden (BCG), Tony Coyle, said that in preparation for the garden's move in April, they have two of every plant.

It is a major logistical exercise, but one that has to happen now the garden's four-year lease at Quest for Life has ended and BCG is looking to expand.

"At a General Meeting in January, BCG members unanimously endorsed a new vision for a larger, more diverse, re-established garden on an independent site," Mr Coyle said.

Mr Coyle said they are now on the hunt for a permanent location.

"We will have a pop-up community garden in Exeter in the interim, so there will be absolute continuity.

"The plants are being split up - the deciduous fruit trees will be uprooted and will live in a trench in a member's paddock, we will put the citrus trees in pots, and the rest will be with our members," he said.

However moving the trees is an easy task compared to the task of relocating the pizza oven.

"The oven weighs six tonnes and it is on a slab so can be moved as a whole, but we are seeking offers of help to move it," Mr Coyle said.

Mr Coyle said the move will create the opportunity to expand the garden, including the creation of a heritage fruit tree orchard, which will feature scions from very old local trees grafted onto new rootstock.

The garden also has an active seed-saving program to preserve cool climate and heirloom seed stocks.

"Members are energised by the opportunity created by this move and enthusiastic about making our vision a reality" Mr Coyle said.

"And we are so grateful for all the support we have received over the years from so many people, garden clubs and local businesses, our local member Pru Goward, and funding organisations like Wingecarribee Council, NRMA, NSW Environment Trust, NSW Community Builders, Veolia Mulwaree Trust, and Southern Phone."

Now in its fifth year, Bundanoon Community Garden has an active membership of more than 25 members, plus numerous friends, who undertake the tasks involved in productive food growing.

Notable achievements have included organising the highly successful Grow Cook Eat Festival in 2014 and 2015, and involvement in Bundanoon's Garden Ramble weekends.

Other projects have included free seedling give-aways to schools and families in conjunction with one of the garden's industry supporters.

"Building the current garden was a huge undertaking; the new garden will require just as much community spirit and knowhow," Mr Coyle said.

For regular updates on progress, go to www.bundanooncommunity garden.org.au or their Facebook page.