Since the Yinnar Community Garden was established back in 2011, it has aimed to be a sustainable and creative space. Led by the community, it has been designed by local people, planted with the local climate in mind, and has been used as a living educational resource.
Situated next to the ARC Gallery, the gardens provide a pleasing and inspiring space for visitors, artists and musicians to access when they visit the pretty township of Yinnar
Since 2014, the garden has been run solely by volunteers who meet for weekly and fortnightly working bees. Volunteers host community tours and engages with community groups who participate in the garden for educational or recreational purposes. Over the years many community organisations have also helped to maintain the garden, including youth from Interchange and teams from corrections.
The volunteers pride themselves on maintaining the garden using organic and sustainable practices such as seed saving, mulching, composting, water saving, and soil enriching processes.
Outdoor auditorium and kitchen facilities
In 2016, the garden gratefully received a Community Grant from the Foundation for their ‘Amphi-theatre steps’ project. This project enabled the garden to link their gazebos and central mosaic space together, allowing for “outdoor auditorium” experiences in the garden.
Recent additions to the garden include wicking beds, a glam-style kitchen area with pizza oven and bespoke sink area and the planting of pollinator friendly perennial and annual edible shrubs and flowers.
When Lisa Anderson moved to Yinnar in 2019 to help look after her mother, she began pulling up weeds in her local community garden, tagging along with her sister Sari.
Because of her family ties to the area, Lisa had been visiting the garden regularly over the previous 9 years and had watched the garden grow into a flourishing space, which inspired her to get involved and become a new member.
“I decided that I’d help out on Wednesdays with Sari and soon found myself inspired to help design a mosaic for the new outdoor kitchen space. I did some drawings and we decided on the chicken and pumpkin design,” said Lisa, who always has an artistic project, often a mosaic or a quilt, in the works at home.
The community garden ran a series of mosaic workshops on Saturday afternoons so Lisa could instruct and get help to create the mosaic. Lisa said these workshops were very popular and there were people of all ages involved. The mosaic sets off the new sink and kitchen area, which includes a pizza oven. It’s a space that’s now available for hire by local community members and groups.
“To my surprise we had some kids helping the adults to put the mosaic together on paper and then glue them to the mural area.” Lisa is now a very active local community member, involved with the garden and on community radio in Gippsland.
“I’m happy to return now to the garden for a while and help grow and weed with Sari, though I do have many craft projects at home to keep me going,” she laughed.
Become a member
An inspiring garden to experience, volunteer members meet weekly on Wednesdays from 10am-12pm and every second and fourth Saturday from 10am-12pm for working bees. The garden is also used for educational purposes with gardening and kitchen workshops available throughout the year.
To become a member, visit their Facebook page