The Community Environment Centre in Annangrove is throwing open its doors this Saturday to showcase its stunning gardens as part of the Sydney Edible Garden Trail.
The Sydney Edible Garden Trail is a two-day event on Saturday 4 November and Sunday 5 November. The event offers locals the opportunity to explore gardens around their area and gain insights into sustainable growing practices from everyday people.
The Community Environment Centre, which is diligently maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers, is one of three gardens on display in The Hills region.
Linda, one of the many volunteers at the centre, said she was excited about the community garden’s participation in the Sydney Edible Garden Trail. She said it was “absolutely fantastic” and an opportunity to unveil a “hidden gem” in The Hills.
“The setup here is a demonstration garden, so they will learn how things are done, like how we do a crop rotation,” she said.
The centre is a beautiful and diverse space with several distinctive gardens. One of these is a native garden housing bushtucker plants and native flowering species. Additionally, plants and trees are grown specifically for the Growing Food for Wildlife Project, which aims to nourish sick and injured animals in the care of wildlife rescue groups.
Another highlight of the centre is a thriving vegetable garden teeming with ripe produce, such as beetroots, capsicums, spinach, lettuce, strawberries, tomatoes, chillies, and even banana trees.
The volunteers have also nurtured an array of vibrant flowers, including cornflowers, violas, nasturtiums, and alyssums using the technique of companion planting. These flowers not only serve as a natural pest deterrent but also offer a vital food source for the centre’s native beehive and other local pollinators.
Madeline, a dedicated centre volunteer, said she is excited to show off the garden, which she says is in “top condition”.
“It’s good to see the garden growing so beautifully, and that’s because we have used the correct soil, the correct techniques and we have planted things at the right time.”
Meanwhile, one of the other volunteers, Elaine, hoped the Sydney Edible Garden Trail would inspire more people to join the volunteer group, which runs on Thursdays and a half day on Saturdays.
“We can always do with more volunteers to share the workload, to help with workshops and to spread the word about environmental awareness,” she said.
“It’s a really positive experience where you can learn something new, be part of something that is very important and it’s so much fun.
“I believe it’s a special and rewarding place where people from different backgrounds can come together and share in a laugh over a cup of coffee while achieving something so rewarding,” she said.
Another centre volunteer, Chris, will be showcasing his very own five-acre property as part of the event.
The property, known as Kentridge Gardens, has transformed over the last 22 years from bare horse paddocks to a vibrant garden with 42 raised vegetable beds, orchards, rose bushes, a native beehive, as well as a 15-metre chicken run for his Isa brown chickens.
To purchase your ticket to the Sydney Edible Garden Trail, visit: sydneyediblegardentrail.com.