Yinnar Community Garden
The Yinnar Community Garden (YCG) was established in 2011 and is a unique community organisation delivering on this community's vision for a sustainable and creative garden. The garden’s central feature is a beautiful cosmic mosaic that is surrounded by brick paved paths that define lushly planted radiating garden beds of edible fruits, vegetables and herbs along with useful plants for pollinators.
The garden is also a living educational resource, managed organically with sustainability built in through mulching, composting, water saving and soil enriching practices. The garden has hosted over 25 free community workshops and has been built with many recycled and reclaimed products and labour from participants at these workshops.
Since 2014 the garden has been run solely by volunteers who meet on a weekly or twice weekly basis to share ideas and work in the garden. Now in its sixth year the garden hosts community tours and engages with other community groups who participate in the garden for educational or recreational purposes.
In 2016 the YCG gratefully received a community grant from the Mirboo North & District Community Foundation for the ‘Amphi-theatre steps’ project. This project enabled the completion of the outdoor auditorium facility that the garden offers by linking the gazebo and the central mosaic space together thus allowing for different or co-related activities with differing seating arrangements.
This grant also assisted with the construction and planting out of two newly established garden beds adjacent to the gazebo, with plants and herbs purchased from the Mirboo North Town Nursery. Youth from ‘Interchange’ (an organisation for people with disabilities) have eagerly engaged with this project over many fortnightly visits this year and loved the opportunity to learn new stuff about landscaping, food, trying new tastes and new experiences.
L-R Sophie, Sari, Jake and Alice L-RSari, Corey (at back), Sophie, Alice and Jake
David Winwood one of the supervisors from Interchange Morwell, says that the youth “get a lot out of coming to the garden, and one of the most popular programs Interchange do is being part of the Yinnar Community Garden. It’s a very positive experience for the participants” says David, “they love getting recognition for what they do” and he hopes the program will be ongoing.
Corey, says he enjoys his time in the garden because he likes to be “really busy and useful” and he has wheelbarrowed countless piles of mulch. Jake is always keen to get to the garden and he enjoys watering and is very protective of any little frogs and critters that may need to be moved during construction. Alice is studying gardening and she likes to apply her learning and ask questions about the ‘how to’ of gardening and Sophie has enjoyed planting seeds and preparing the dried herbal teas for bagging up.
Feeling part of the community is important for the participants, and four of the participants have become members. They and their families were delighted to see pictures and appreciation of their work in the garden member’s e-news. The YCG committee is so glad to have been able to enrich the experience of Interchange in the garden with the purchase of colourful perennials, herbs and flower seeds that they have enjoyed planting so much and will see develop over months to come.
The YCG is found via an access track adjacent to Arc Yinnar which is in the Main Street of Yinnar. The garden is for visitors, supporters, members, the elderly and the young – the garden is for everyone – feel free to visit YCG and enjoy the ambience.