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Local retirement community keeping things fresh

Rowes Bay residents in the community garden

Armed with fresh produce and cooking up a storm at Bolton Clarke’s Rowes Bay retirement village, a group of residents have taken over the community veggie garden to combat the rising cost of fruit and vegetables.  

“Every Friday we have the fresh produce on sale at happy hour and it nearly all goes every week because it’s cheap and organic,” resident and volunteer Mary said.

“It’s been a really positive response from residents to have the community garden.

“One of the residents here had made the garden and now a few of us help water and weed it regularly,” she said.

For resident and volunteer Joe, gardening is a whole new ballgame but he decided to get involved and give it a crack when the callout was made for more volunteers.

“I’m a good worker but I have no idea when it comes to gardening. I always liked to have a good lawn but have never before been into flowers or veggies,” he said.

“I’ve been involved now for about four months and originally started as the weed man but help with watering now as well.

“The residents love it because they know the money that they are passing over for the veggies goes back into the village community itself.”

Tending to the village garden on a regular basis, and often multiple times a day, Joe, Mary and Margaret have had challenges with the wet weather this year but haven’t let it spoil the crop.

“It’s been a bit hard getting it going, we’ve had to work to get the soil up and running,” Margaret said.

“Earlier last year I was able to pull out 15 rosella bushes and made jams and chutneys for our market day and sold a couple of hundred jars."

Currently growing broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, tomatoes, and a variety of herbs, the residents are continually looking for new and different ingredients to offer their neighbours.

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