Supporting Sustainable and Environmentally Friendly Living within UYCH – Introducing the UYCH Growing Community.
The UYCH Mt Evelyn Campus has launched its very own community garden with the vision and aim of providing a general garden space for our students and community members to create and maintain their own gardens. We hope the garden will encourage sustainable and environmentally friendly living within our community and provide people with the opportunity to create and utilise a garden space that they may not have an opportunity to do so in their own home. It is also a great concept to encourage and promote healthy eating and activity within our organisation and local community.
Historically the garden operated under Morrisons, however in the change-over with UYCH the Community Garden program was left unattended. This year, our VCAL landscaping class have been working tirelessly to tidy and clean up any over-grown areas so new members could start using the garden and planting their seeds for the season.
There are 8 plots in total, 5 large and 3 small with a wood-fire pizza oven on site that can also be used by members. The use of the garden has already proven popular with departments of UYCH and past garden users from the Mt Evelyn Community already expressing interest and booking their garden plots.
Our Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) kids and our VCAL students in particular have already hired plots and have been busy planning their garden projects.
Some of our VCAL students for example, are currently working on a Social Enterprise that link to their work related skills units, in this case they are using the community garden to run a plant sales Social Enterprise called ‘Jeffery’s Garden’. The aim of the Social Enterprise program is to re-engage our youth with the community and give them confidence and leadership skills. Jeffery’s Garden will be selling winter seedlings to the local community in Term 3 and they hope to continue this enterprise into Spring and Summer. They want to provide the community with healthy and fresh home grown produce with 50% of their profits going towards the Guide Dog Association and Animal Aid and the remainder going back into the business to keep it running.
To reduce costs they are using recycled pots which have been donated by community members and recently they received a $50 donation from Bunnings Warehouse. They are grateful for any community contribution and ask if you have something you think might be useful including sharing your gardening knowledge please consider their needs. If you have any old plastic soft drink bottles or plastic pots, we have arranged a drop off bin in the kitchen at the Mt Evelyn Campus, 20 Old Hereford Rd.
Here’s what one of our students have to say about having a community garden at UYCH and what it means to them:
“As a part of the gardening group I am gaining knowledge and skills on how to take proper care for plants. I am enjoying working with my friends and doing something that I feel passionate about”. Gillian – VCAL Student
This is a very exciting addition to the UYCH Mt Evelyn campus and our local community. We can’t wait to see what plants, fruit and vegetables start flourishing from the garden plots.
If you’re interested in becoming a plot user, please fill in your details on our expression of interest form to or contact 9736 1457.