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Southbank Sustainability Group

07 Aug 2019

Southbank Sustainability Group Image

Open House with environmental flair

July 27 marked the start of Boyd Community Hub’s first participation in Open House Melbourne and with that, our group’s first Open House as well!

Some of our more creative members volunteered for this event, creating engaging activities and beautiful mini prizes out of repurposed materials like bookmarks and seedling starter-packs in beautifully hand-painted eggshells.

We also organized a self-guided garden tour, walking visitors through how we manage and operate an open community garden and orchard area, along with a mini-garden scavenger hunt where participants had to guess plants correctly.

Inside Boyd we created a mini sustainable living exhibition, promoting environmentally positive and easy zero waste practices for everyday life, and shared with visitors our group’s activities and history. Our group is tightly intertwined with Boyd having been established there in March 2017. The space has become our home where me meet new friends and neighbours. And, of course, our vegie garden, now a permanent fixture at Boyd that so many Southbankers stop and interact with every day, has become a casual teaching ground for children and is a direct result of our group’s advocacy and work with the City of Melbourne.

Organising these activities took plenty of work from new and older group members alike, each contributing a different skillset and creative point of view. We had about 40 visitors trickle in and interact with these activities on the morning of Open House. Some children were even inspired to create garden-themed drawings for us, on reused paper printouts and coloring pencils the Boyd team lent us. Overall, the team at Boyd has been very supportive and helpful with these activities and have been a delight to work with. A big thank you goes out to all of them, as well as all our group members who helped.

Onwards to the garden’s current state and what’s ahead in August. For those of you that walk through Boyd, you’ll see many vegies and greens growing tall and lush. It’s harvest season!

We’ve harvested about 20kg of vegies this past month alone (and diverted 12kgs of organic waste from landfill), with many more vegies becoming harvest-ready every day. From carrots, to beetroots, broccoli and cabbages, there’s a variety of organic vegies ready for eating. We invite all community members to come harvest and enjoy eating locally and healthy in the coming weeks, reducing food footprint in the process. Our upcoming meet-ups on August 17 and 31 from 10am at Boyd will be great opportunities to do so, as we’ll be focusing on gardening and preparing the soil and seedlings for spring planting. If you can’t make it to a meet-up, we encourage you to email us on what you want to harvest for instructions so that the plant remains undamaged. Remember to only take what you need for one meal.

About the group: A solutions-focused community group of Southbank residents working to bring positive change in sustainability practices and education to our neighborhood, while building a wonderful community of like-minded people. Reach us at southbanksustainability@gmail.com or facebook.com/SouthbankSustainabilityGroup

Artemis Pattichi - Southbank Sustainability Group 

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