Broome kids enjoy the fruits of their labor

Their artistic hand painted signs add interest to the community garden

 

An exciting fruit and vegie garden project has taught young people at Broome PCYC the value of knowing how to grow their own food. At the same time, they have learned gardening skills they can use at home, not to mention making a lasting difference to their local PCYC Centre for others to enjoy for years to come.

With financial support from the West Kimberley Grants Scheme and the Department of Communities, Broome PCYC kids, joined by local community members and PCYC staff, embarked on the process of planning and building a community garden from scratch.

But it wasn’t all smooth sailing! The children showed great resilience when their hard work was interrupted last year when the COVID-19 pandemic forced WA into lockdown. Furthermore, a fire at the local nursery destroyed plants that the children had especially chosen and placed on order.

Luckily, plants were eventually found elsewhere, and the result is a productive garden that can be used by everyone in the community, especially the young people who attend PCYC Broome programs.

As well as the simple pleasure of watching their own plants grow, the local children learned about sustainable living, including how to set up reticulation, which plants are best suited to the Kimberley environment, understanding the local seasons, and how to recycle food waste into a worm farm and how to use compost.

Lessons didn’t end there, with their produce being used for cooking lessons and handmade signs being created in art workshops to decorate the garden.

The project has managed to harness energy from the whole community, with volunteers and members of the community using the garden as a place to meet, talk and share ideas.

Broome PCYC Centre Manger Annie Dann said: “Our garden is now flourishing and has a base of regular volunteers who use the space to meet, gather and share ideas and knowledge with like-minded community members.”

“It is also used as an educational space for our young people to learn new skills and discuss new ideas and it’s a permanent reminder of their hard work and something they can feel proud of.”

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