Community Garden Project
Envirohub Marlborough is in the process of setting up a community garden in Picton. The community garden will provide a shared space that allows locals to grow their own fruit, vegetables and plants whilst promoting a peaceful surrounding for social interaction and development, bringing our community together. We also plan for surplus vegetables from the community garden to be distributed to those in need.
In March of this year (2022), Marlborough District Council approved use of the proposed site at the Huia Street Reserve. We are now reaching out to ALL members of our wonderful community to have their say!
A community meeting is being held at the Endeavour Park Pavilion on Monday 2nd May, 7pm.
We hope to see you there to have your say!
Below are a list of Frequently Asked Questions of the project so far.
We are still very early in the project and we want your input! Hope to see you at the meeting!
The structure of the Waitohi Picton Community Garden will be influenced by our local community, it’s your garden after all!
At the moment we are gleaning many ideas from the community, please keep them coming. We have also been communicating with other community gardens from around the country to see what has (or hasn’t) worked for them. This will provide some valuable learnings in these initial stages.
There are however a few common questions that we have provided initial thinking on below. Please note that these may change as the process continues.
How will it work?
We envision that plots can be rented for a minimal fee by individuals, community groups, educational groups, and businesses such as cafes. Any income made from renting out plots would go back into the maintenance and management of the garden.
The garden will have community plots managed by volunteers to provide fruit and vegetables for those in need and be distributed via Picton food bank, Waikawa Marae and other organisations.
The garden will provide space and opportunity for workshops and educational programmes on sustainable living, organic gardening techniques, composting etc.
What is the structure of the administration?
The garden will be administered by Envirohub Marlborough (www.envirohub.co.nz). Envirohub Marlborough is a Charitable Trust and has been operating since 2014. We are based in the Picton Environment Centre at 14 Auckland Street, Picton and we work in 4 key environmental areas; Sustainable Communities, Marine Conservation, Zero Waste and Conservation Kids NZ.
Funding permitting, we would like to have a part-time paid coordinator. This is to avoid too much responsibility and accountability being placed on volunteers, and provide resilience to the project over time.
We envision there will be a volunteer Focus Group, which will function as a 'think tank', assist with working bees and events, be a community liaison and various other roles.
Where will it be located?
The garden will be located in the paddock at the end of Huia and Ranui streets. This land is administered by the Marlborough District Council under the Victoria Domain Management Plan.
Will it be organic?
Envirohub Marlborough’s overarching ethos is to reduce our impact on the environment. Therefore, the community garden will be run using organic principles. Non-organic products may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Mentors and regular workshops will allow us all to learn about and incorporate organic practices into individual plots or at home.
What about Bronte the horse?
Bronte will remain on-site and contribute to the garden!
What about parking?
Other than working bee days, we are not envisioning large amounts of people in the garden at any one time. However, we are investigating with Council whether we can put parking inside the reserve to reduce any possible congestion on the streets.
The paddock can get wet in winter, what about drainage?
We will be investigating what drainage options we will need.
The site is cold and dark in winter...
We scoped out different potential sites for the community garden and found that this is likely to be the sunniest available. Other sites assessed were in flood zones, too small, or were already used as areas of recreation.
Why do we need another community garden when there is one in Blenheim?
Blenheim has a fantastic community garden and they have been very helpful and supportive of the development of one in Picton. Often travel is a barrier to gardening, so we think that a local one will give people more options that suit their needs.
How much will plots cost to rent?
We’re not sure yet. We will try and set a fair and reasonable amount; we don’t want the cost to inhibit people from using the garden. Some community gardens ask for volunteer time as payment so this could be an option for some plots too.
Picton is a town of gardens, why do you think there is a need?
Section sizes are getting smaller with greater in-filling in Picton. As well as providing space to garden, the garden will provide social and learning opportunities.
We will be starting small, with the ability to grow as interest grows (pun intended!). We certainly don’t want to over-invest at this stage
Where will we get water from?
The Council is organising for the garden to be connected to the mains system. While we’d like to use rainwater and may set up some tanks, the reality is that we are unlikely to be able to store enough for the needs of the garden in critical dry times. We are also not intending on using the nearby stream, the stream's inhabitants would prefer the water to remain there.
I live close by, I'm worried about the impact on the neighbourhood?
If you have any concerns, we want to talk to you. Having a great relationship with our neighbours is critical to us and the successful running of the garden. Please contact us and we’ll make a time for one of our team to meet with you and work through your concerns.
The community garden will adhere to a “Good Neighbour” policy at all times and will prevent any smell and unreasonable noise created by our activities.