Community Orchards & Gardens

25 July 2011

In early July in only a matter of hours - and with some determined digging by a group of volunteers - a community orchard was created.

Volunteers transformed the green slope into a community orchard

Volunteers transformed the green slope into a community orchard

"About 35 people came along and we planted 16 apple and nashi trees, 10 feijoas and mulched both banks. It looks like a proper orchard," says Bronwen Newton, one of the trust members of Wellington's newest community garden.

We gave the Island Bay and Berhampore Community Orchard Trust the go-ahead to establish an orchard on the west-facing slopes above Adelaide Road on the Town Belt. The trust plans to plant the site in stages.

The first stage includes a feijoa hedge to the south and a mix of fruit trees. Bronwen says the next move is a meeting on Thursday 4 August to talk about what happens next.

This is the latest community garden in Wellington and part of a growing enthusiasm by a lot of townies to get their hands dirty.

The Council has published guidelines for community gardens and supports Operation Green Thumb, which has most of its gardens in Council housing complexes.

But there are other public gardens too for members of the public who want to be involved.

The Mokai Kainga Maori Centre Charitable Trust coordinates gardens in Brooklyn and their most recent one is a two-year-old garden at
72 Happy Valley Road in Owhiro Bay. The garden, on Council land, mainly grows vegetables - some of which end up at the Home of Compassion's soup kitchen.

Mokai Kainga chief executive Robert Te Whare says plots are still available for anyone keen to start gardening.

Another newer group, the Innermost Garden group, works each weekend alternating between two gardens - one at the top of Majoribanks Street in Mount Victoria on the Town Belt and the other behind St James Presbyterian Church at 235 Adelaide Road, Newtown.

To find out more or get involved in the Island Bay orchard, email communityfruit@gmail.com or visit:

Community Orchard Berhampore / Island Bay - Facebook website

To have a plot at Owhiro Bay, email robertmk@xtra.co.nz.

To garden in Mount Victoria or Newtown, visit:

Innermost Gardens website