GARDEN CONTRIBUTORS: Ruth Lindsay, George Hartfiel and Maraea Rapira during their weekly meet.
GARDEN CONTRIBUTORS: Ruth Lindsay, George Hartfiel and Maraea Rapira during their weekly meet. Aden Stokes

Community gardens live on

AFTER a change of hands, the Emerald Community Gardens are still being run through the dedication, commitment and passion of its volunteers.

Following many years of support, Emerald Disability Services is now transferring over to NDIS, resulting in the community gardens losing its major support system.

However, thanks to strong dedication, the gardens will continue to function with its community group that is currently running and maintaining the area.

Overseer of the community gardens, George Hartfiel encourages volunteers to continue to attend, to support each other through gardening and daily troubles.

"A lot of people come here and know nothing about planting plants, but some people know a lot about it - so as a community, we can help each other out,” he said.

"If other gardeners know how to do something then they can pass on that knowledge, and people can bounce ideas of each other and support one another.

"People learn a lot about gardening from being here.

"We share gardening advice and experiences, recipes, home remedies and it's just a place for people to socialise.

"It's about creating a whole community togetherness, now and in the future.”

Zoe Birch, who has been a volunteer for more than two years, said she had an opportunity to learn from other participants about the garden.

"When you have a get together they can share what they've seen and what they've heard - what has worked for them in the past and what hasn't,” she said.

"They give advice on how to cook it and use it. It goes beyond the gardening. It's what ends up on the dinner table and there is a story that goes along with it.”

Volunteer Sue said, during her four years at the gardens, she had met some great people and would love more people to join the group.

"It's great for the community and we try to encourage people to just come down and enjoy the garden,” she said.

"It's a social outing that you can work in and around your life.”

Located at the rear of the Emerald library, the community gardens smoko is hosted every Wednesday and Saturday from 9.30-10.30am, and no matter what age, all are welcome.