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Plan of Management FINAL

Page history last edited by Sarah Le 10 years, 12 months ago

Eora Community Garden - Plan of Management

 

The Eora Community Garden is a place for people to grow food together and share produce with the aims of building a sense of community, sharing knowledge and having deliciously fresh garden produce.

 

The Eora Community Garden is being started as ‘trial garden’ to gauge interest in community gardening in the local area. It is hoped that enough interest will be built and sustained to support a larger garden or network of gardens in the Ashfield Local Government Area in the future. The Eora Community Garden will be started as a communal garden because of its limited size, however if additional gardens are set up in future, these could include both communal garden beds and individual plots. We will use chemical free gardening methods to grow herbs and vegetables as well as edible and pest repellent flowers. The garden will also be a place where Ashfield Council can run relevant workshops and parents can bring their children.

 

The Eora Community Garden is located within the Ashfield Council EoraGarden at 135 Smith Street, Eora, adjacent to the SHARE Before and After School and Vacation Care centre. In 2006 work was completed including the building of a garden shed, to provide improved access and amenity for community groups and local residents. Continued partnerships between Ashfield Council and community organisations, particularly organisations which support people with disabilities as well as residents of local boarding and lodging houses, have made use of the space for outdoor social activities including games, bbqs and visual art.

 

‘Eora’ comes from the Aboriginal name for the place.

1         Proposed Management Structure

Eora Community Garden will be run by a group of Members with the following roles assigned to individuals:

 - Coordinator (liaise with Ashfield Council, organise meetings, coordinate activities, maintain contact list and planter roster, etc)  

 - Treasurer (plan budgets, manage funds)

 - Secretary (meeting minutes, administer website)

 - Members (responsible for various tasks such as promoting and advertising the garden, planning planting schemes, attending working bees, raising funds, etc).

 

Committee Members are the Coordinator, Treasurer and Secretary.

 

Roles will be reviewed on an annual basis or as required.

 

If the garden expands to other sites, the members will form an incorporated association and obtain public liability insurance.

2         Membership

Members must pay an annual fee of $20 (or $12 concession) and complete a membership form indicating they agree to participate in accordance with this Plan of Management and will act in accordance with the Code of Conduct outlined below. Members are encouraged to attend working bees and management meetings.

3         Code of Conduct

1          All Members to respect each other, the purpose of the garden.

2          Gardening is to be carried out communally and no Member should assume sole use of any section of the garden, nor are individual plots or areas to be designated to any group member/s

3          Members are to avoid making key gardening decisions on their own but should run major ideas and plans by other group members either verbally or through online means of communication. Own discretion can be used for low impact undertakings such as watering, weeding, some harvesting etc.

4          All Members to dispose of waste appropriately and to help keep the garden clean.

5          No smoking or drinking in the garden while others are working

6          Produce will be shared amongst the members using the ‘pick some leave some’ method initially (to be reviewed once the garden becomes productive)

7          Members will report damage or wear and tear of garden tools and general tool maintenance

8          Gardening outside designated area must be approved by Ashfield Council

9          The garden is a shared community space and all Members are to respect the rights of all other users of the space.

4         Working Bees

Working bees will be held regularly (weekly or fortnightly). Members are encouraged to attend these times however as we all work to different schedules we recognise this may not be possible for everyone. The Ashfield Community Gardeners will be responsible for keeping the garden beds and paths in a neat and tidy condition, so some working bees will include non-gardening activities.

 

The date and time of working bees will be advertised on a garden webpage (see below).

5         Communication/Decision Making

The group will meet regularly, at least 8 times during the calendar year, at the Arora Garden (or the Summer Hill Community Centre in wet weather) to discuss administrative issues, garden plans or maintenance needs and any other relevant business. No decisions may be made at a meeting unless a quorum of members is present.  A quorum is [5] members entitled to vote, including one committee member.  Each member is entitled to 1 vote. Except in the case of a resolution to amend this Plan of Management, questions arising at a meeting must be decided by a majority of votes cast by members present at the meeting (in person or by proxy). A resolution to amend this Plan of Management must be decided by 75% of votes cast by members present at the meeting (in person or by proxy).  At least two weeks notice must be given of a resolution to amend this Plan of Management.

 

Outside formal meetings, we will talk about smaller decisions at working bees and also communicate through email and/or the web page while those without internet access will keep in touch by phone.

 

Members will be able to log on to the webpage ashfieldgarden.pbworks.com. The web page will contain information about the garden, contact details, rosters, upcoming garden activities, etc.  This Plan of Management will be available on the webpage.

5.1      Conflict resolution

1)     Where conflict between individuals or within the group arises these concerns and issues will be communicated with one of (three) designated group members (ie. Coordinator/Treasurer/Secretary). These communications will be respected in confidence and will not have a negative impact on people’s ongoing membership of the group.

2)     The designated group member and individual/s raising the concern will come to an agreement about how to proceed that is agreed by both parties. Option 1: Issue resolved; Option 2: Issue taken to Group meeting for discussion; Option 3: Issue communicated with relevant Ashfield Council staff who will act as advisors and/or mediators.

3)     If necessary an agreement can be formed in writing which addresses the issue raised whereby appropriate action or change within the group and garden is required. This agreement will be discussed and accepted at a group meeting.

4)     Steps to resolve conflict between group members will be in accordance with the group’s Code of Conduct.

6         Gardening Methods

The Ashfield Community Gardeners engage in chemical free gardening and would like to get as close to organic principles as possible.  This means:

 

  • Healthy soil is the key for successful organic gardening.  Compost, moisture, drainage, mulch, plant diversity and crop rotation all contribute to healthy soil.  Any soil brought into the garden should be high quality, chemical and disease free.  Our compost should be the main contributor to soil upkeep once the garden is established.
  • A composting system will be utilised and it is important not to include diseased plants or weeds.  The compost will be used in the garden and will be the major ‘soil builder’ and ‘garden feeder’ for the garden.  The compost bin will need to be turned regularly (depending on size but at least monthly) and should be noted in the log book when this occurs.
  • Use of pesticides or herbicides in the garden is forbidden.  Use biological controls for weeds and pests.
  • Crop rotation is an important aspect of successful organic vegetable growing as it helps to interrupt the cycle of pests and diseases.  Crop rotation also helps to create healthy soil as some vegetables take a lot of nutrient from the soil, however, others replenish the soil (beans, peas, legumes).
  • Too much water can harm plants as much as not enough water.  It is important to consult the log book, assess the weather conditions and do a ‘finger test’ of the soil to check for moisture content before watering.  Water should be used from the water tank first and if this is empty then town water supply is available from the tap close at hand.
  • Companion planting is recommended as different plants can help maintain healthy vegetable crops; herbs are especially useful in and around vegetable plants.  A couple of examples include marigolds near broccoli, cabbage & eggplant; parsley, pyrethrum & basil around tomato plants.   
  • Be aware of sun and shade and other plant needs in the garden when planting out tall or vertical growing plants.  That is, it may be appropriate to plant climbing plants to the south of the garden to allow sunlight on smaller plants.  It could also be appropriate to plant taller plants on the western side to give some sun/heat protection to smaller plants that require less sun.  
  • It is important that all tools be cleaned after use to avoid the spread of weeds and disease.
  • A mix of fine and coarse organic mulch is recommended.  Mulching will reduce moisture loss and suppress weed growth.  When mulching water the soil first, apply 7-8cm thick on the garden but not directly around plants and finally water the mulch in.  Mulching should be done annually but this will depend on how quickly the mulch breaks down.

 

7         Waste Management

All organic matter (except diseased plants and weeds) will be composted on site, in bins located behind the shed. Waste that cannot be composted (or recycled) will be placed in the existing bins provided by Ashfield Council. These are:

-          small dust bin the near the garden shed, and

-          wheelie bins at the SHARE centre.

Lunch wrap and litter will be placed in the dust bin, while larger volumes of waste will be placed in the wheelie bins. If these are become heavy with garden waste, the Community Gardeners will help wheel them out for collection. No green waste is considered necessary initially however waste arrangements will be reviewed and amended as necessary.

8         Health and Safety

All Members will receive a brief site induction before they work at the Eora Garden. The site induction will provide general information about the garden as well as relevant health and safety precautions and can be given by any member of the group who has already been inducted themselves. The Member will sign the induction book after their induction.

 

Members are to be responsible for their own well-being and that of others, while on Council property. Members are to be careful and act safely at all times. Members are to practice safe manual handling. (E.g. bending at the knees rather than at the hips when lifting).

 

Any potential hazards will be noted in the log book by Members as soon as they are found and also reported to committee members. 

If any accidents occur, details should be written into the log book. All accidents will be discussed at monthly meetings and preventative actions taken as agreed required.

9         Garden Tools and Storage

A collection of garden tools (kindly provided by Ashfield Council) will be stored in the shed which belongs to the Council. Two keys will be made available to the Eora Community Gardeners. These keys will be held by 2 members living nearby and can be picked up from their homes when pre-arranged.

 

Members are also welcome to bring their own tools to use in the garden.

 

Inventory for Items in Garden Shed for exclusive use of community gardeners

 

 

Item

Number

Large plastic storage box

1

Small plastic storage box

1

Trowel

20

Gardening gloves

10 pairs

Seasol solution

2

Watering can

1

Small shovels

3

 

 

 

 

 

Garden tools are to be cleaned and returned to the correct storage area in the shed after use.

 

The shed also contains materials belonging to other garden groups. These are not to be used by Members.

10   Log Book

To keep track of what has been done in the garden, working visits will be noted in a log book with brief details such as name, date, bed/plants and work done. The log book will be kept in the shed. The garden webpage will also be used for logging information if uptake within the group is successful. If any specific tasks need to be completed (as agreed at each meeting) these will be listed in the log book as a ‘to-do-list’ to guide those working in the garden. Planting diagrams and records will be kept along with the log book. Any serious damage should be immediately reported to the coordinator.  The log book will be reviewed at each meeting of the group.

 

All actions undertaken at the garden are to be recorded in the site log-book (and may be also reported online). E.g. application of organic pest control, planting seedlings and/or seeds, application of organic fertiliser, weeding, harvesting of crops. This is to ensure all gardeners are aware of activities undertaken and will prevent such things as: ingestion of pest control, over-fertilisation of plants, over-watering, disruption of newly seeded beds, overharvesting of beds, etc. The log book will also enable monitoring of how much crop is being harvested by group gardeners versus what is being taken by passerbys/non-gardening community members.

11   Roster

Until the full garden is started we will maintain the existing planter boxes on a weekly roster system. Each Member will water the plants and do anything else they think is necessary. The roster will be listed on the garden webpage and at the end of their week, each Member will update the roster on the website with any comments (or alternatively phone the next person to let them know when the garden was last watered).

 

Once the main garden is set up the roster may be expended to include additional items. This would be agreed at future meetings.

12    Recruiting Members

The initial response to council advertisements has provided an adequate number of interested people to support the Eora Community Garden, however additional members will need to be recruited if numbers drop or additional gardens are set up.

When needed, new members could be recruited through some or all of the following:

- signage at the garden

 -flyers posted on notice boards in the local area (eg. community centre, library, and other relevant places)

 - use of Council Notices in local papers (eg. Inner West Courier)

 - internet - community gardening websites,  Wiki page, or Council website

 - word of mouth/talking with visitors

 - letter box drops around garden site.

13    Financing

Ashfield Council has generously agreed to cover the costs of setting up the garden (including constructing raised beds and compost bins and providing the initial seedlings or seeds).

 

The Eora Community Gardeners group will need to cover future spending, which may include but not be limited to:

 - Public liability insurance;

 - Plants & seeds;

 - Top-up organic soil/manure/mulch;

 - Replacement of garden tools & equipment

 - Repairs & maintenance costs

 - Training & workshops for Members

 - Costs of involving the community ( e.g. local advertising & venues for meetings, photocopying any promotional material, newsletter, postage & stationary etc.)

 

The annual membership fee of $20 ($12 concession) a year will assist in covering some of the above costs.  However, options for additional funding include:

 - Grants (eg. from Ashfield Council, WSNSW, or others)

 - Gold coin donation for anyone who uses produce from the garden

 - Donations or sponsorship from local businesses or individuals

 - Fundraising (e.g.  an open day, sausage sizzle or selling coffee & cakes, selling raffle tickets, dinner fundraising)

 - No waste approach (recycle & reuse material if possible, plant cuttings or seeds from friends & other gardeners)

 

Ashfield Council will allow gardeners to use water free of charge from the existing rainwater tank or the mains. Members are encouraged to use tank water whenever possible, rather than using mains water, and gardeners are encouraged to use water wisely. Council will monitor water usage at the site and in the event that it exceeds appropriate levels the water supply arrangement may be reviewed.

 

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