What do you do with a plot of fertile, community-owned soil? Grow food of course! The seeds of the Millbrook Edible Garden (MEG) were sown in Spring 2008, when Project Twin Streams Oratia Community Coordinator ‘Green Jon’ set about creating a community-driven garden on the floodplains of Oratia Stream in Sunnyvale.
The vision for the garden was both a meeting place, somewhere locals can come together to connect with the land and each other, and a space where the community can learn about healthy eating and gardening.
Rennaissance of Growing
The much-used Project Twin Streams walk and cycleway winds its way past the garden, situated on Millbrook Esplanade – a large area that has been rejuvenated by stream cleanups and planting days.
Sustainability is key – the garden is built from recycled materials (many salvaged during stream cleanups) and watered using a bicycle pump. Weeds like bamboo feature highly as construction materials.
Each plot is planted and cared for by a local family or community group interested in growing food for themselves. These include two Pacific Island alternative education organisations, a Muslim support group, an inclusive service for people with mild intellectual disabilities, a Catholic missionary group, and children from a local after-school programme.
Outside the fence is a free-for-all garden which locals are welcome to harvest from.
The gardens aim to empower locals with knowledge on organic best practices as well as encouraging recycling and composting. PTS Oratia’s Community Coordinator Tina Samuelu oversees the management of the garden and brings together willing volunteers who meet there every Saturday morning.
The Millbrook Edible Garden has become much more than the place where gardeners share their knowledge and nature shares its bounty. It has built relationships and a community around it.
We meet regularly at 100 Millbrook Rd, Millbrook Esplanade, Sunnyvale. If you’re interested in joining in please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 022 105 4038. Everyone is welcome!