Community gardening at Little Patch

New Farm State School Little Patch Garden

Article by Kate Lockyer published in the January Edition of the Village News New Farm

New Farm State School P&C has been awarded a grant which will help them launch a new ‘Friends of Little Patch’ program, as well as a new seed propagation hub and disability gardening tables.

The grant is a Brisbane City Council Cultivating Community Gardens Grant.

Their ‘Little Patch’ edible garden currently grows fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers and also includes a worm farm and a green waste box.

The food grown there is used in the tuckshop as well as in the classroom – from homemade pizzas to lemon and mint drinks, to green soup made of silver beet and wombok.

The seed propagation hub will help the garden be less dependent on purchasing seedlings in plastic containers and will allow them to collect and sow their own seed, which showcases their circular gardening economy and is more cost-effective.

Friends of Little Patch invites community members to come to the school to help propagate, plant out, harvest, and cook from the school garden.

The first session of this program will begin on January 20 from 9am – 10am.

P&C member and Little Patch Gardens Chair Julie McAllister said, “We’re keen for people to come along, say hello, and if they are interested in being a volunteer across the year they can register with us, everyone’s welcome”.

“The school really suffered over the pandemic with its volunteer capacity and network; for years parents were not even allowed on campus.“

The significance of the grant is not just giving us the money for the garden, what it did is forge our new Friends of Little Patch program where we could welcome people back onto campus to be a part of our gardening program and our community life.

“Whether you’re a gardener or a novice, it’s a lovely way to meet people through a cup of tea and planting some seeds,” she said.

Alongside Little Patch, the school also has their Beeston Street Community Garden, which is an Indigenous edibles garden, and Ms McAllister has plans for a revamped ‘Little Farm’ garden and “guerrilla gardens” to be placed throughout the school, such as a mathematically minded Fibonacci garden.

The P&C has been working on these gardens for five years.

“We started it because we all felt passionate that, being parents of kids in such an urban environment, we wanted to make sure that they had green spaces and also understood where food comes from,” Ms McAllister said.

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