There are community gardens now in Forsyth Park, Milson Park, the Coal Loader (Waverton), and Kurraba Point...
Forsyth Park Community Garden
Location: Montpelier Street, Neutral Bay
Time: Wednesdays and Saturdays 8.30am to midday
About the Garden
Constructed in September 2014, the Forsyth Park Community Garden in Neutral Bay is a project driven by the passion of local residents. Situated atop the now dis-used oil tanks at the north end of Forsyth Park it provides lovely views of the city and North Sydney's skyline.The garden was constructed from recyclable materials with views to longevity and sustainability.
The garden radiates out from an existing Port Jackson fig tree and sits perched among the canopy of some Eucalyptus growing up from the park below. It's also a fantastic spot for a picnic so bring your family down for a look!
We have a mix of fruit and vegetables, perennials and annuals, many of which we cultivate from seed in a dedicated nursery. There are no personal "allocations" - everybody helps plant the entire garden and we all share in the harvest.
The gardening team works to foster a spirit of inclusion and have formed partnerships with local schools to teach kids about the rewarding nature of gardening. If you'd like to organise a formal visit for your local school/community group/team, please let us know.
Looking to join?
We have a team of more than 50 gardeners who help out in the garden and anyone is welcome to join. There is no cost (except your time!). Contact Henry Freiburg.
We meet at the garden on Saturday mornings from 8.30am (10am in winter). A smaller group meets on Wednesday mornings at 10am. Gardeners are welcome to work in the garden ANYTIME.
Milson Community Garden
Location: McDougall Street, Kirribilli NSW 2061
We work as a cooperative and we do not have allotments. We meet each Sunday at 10.30am to work in the garden and we have a roster for watering.
Our garden is organic and we recycle food waste using the Japanese Bokashi system which we are turning into compost once it is fermented. We mulch with lucerne straw.
The garden design, based on research, is a medieval one which allows wheelchair access to 50% of the garden area. The raised beds help everyone be involved as they are 600mm in height and so you can be seated or a small child can - and still have easy reach. The timber beds were designed and constructed by local community members. The timber was sourced within Australia and is sustainable Australian native hardwood (we wished to give an Australian mill the business rather than buying cheaper but unsustainable imported wood.)
A small committee of local community members chose the first planting plan and other community members raised the plants from seed sourced from Diggers Seeds in Victoria. To cut down on transplant shock, most seeds were sown in coir pellets. This has proved a great success. Children under five planted the potato beds but they are really, really interested in the heritage strawberries. Everyone keeps an eye on them to catch the strawberries when they are at their ripest. The fluid and casual nature of our gardening seems to suit everyone. Harvesting will be done by those who work in the garden. However, we are happy for people to pick small amounts of herbs, one reason why we have so many parsley plants.
Some plants currently growing in the garden include: heirloom tomatoes, blueberries, carrots, arugula, beetroot, chives, purple climbing beans, "Lazy Housewife beans", Jalapeno chillies, sweet corn, arugula and mesclun mix of lettuces. Our herbs include: perennial basil and lettuce leaf basil, variegated sage, lots of parsley, pot celery, thyme and lemon scented thyme, golden marjoram and rosemary.
Coal Loader Community Garden
Location: 2 Balls Head Drive, Waverton (see More on our location and how to get here)
The Coal Loader Community Garden group meets each Wednesday at 10am for about 2 hours. Residents are welcome to join-in during these hours.
There are no weekend meetings, but there are weekend rosters for watering the garden and for chook keeping. Being an organic communal garden without individual garden plots, everything harvested is shared among the participants at the weekly meeting. The garden is open for casual viewing any day of the week.
The Coal Loader Community Garden is set in a former Coal Loader industrial site where coal was delivered, stockpiled and transferred to passenger and cargo ships until the early 1990s. The site is now the The Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability which includes the Community Garden, Community Native Nursery and many other interesting facilities.
The garden was conceived in 2005 when Council invited the local community to participate in the planning and design of the area.
Enthusiastic residents have followed environmentally sustainable principles and have been gardening, learning, laughing and enjoying the garden's harvest through the seasons since 2007.
Kurraba Community Garden
Location: rear of 141 Kurraba Road
Contact: Streets Alive Coordinator on (02) 9936 8283
Kurraba Community Garden is a place where you can enjoy the beauty of a semi-formal garden with a wonderful view of Neutral Bay and join a group of gardeners to produce fresh herbs and vegetables for your table.
The Kurraba Community Garden is located to the side of the path which leads from Kurraba Road to the Kurraba Point Reserve. The layout of the garden is symbolic. When you visit it, look for the purple infinity sign above a red heart. What does this mean to you? Down the hill, there is a mauve serpent and then the sun and the moon or is it an eye and an eyebrow? In the shadows, there is a small gully with luscious green plants and in the middle, a winter garden seat where you can soak up the winter sun. On the other side of the path, there is a summer seat where you can enjoy the view of Neutral Bay in cool shade.
The Kurraba Community Garden Group holds a working bee and meeting on the first Saturday of the month from 9.30am to 11.30am. On these mornings we weed, sow seeds, plant seedlings, harvest the crop and make decisions about the future of the garden.
The Garden is a great place to have a chat or just sit and read or organise your thoughts. It is a wonderful example of how a local council has used its funds to provide support for a place which residents 'own' and use in a variety of ways to enhance the quality in their lives.
You're welcome to establish a new Community Garden
Council accepts applications for new Community Garden proposals... for more information contact Council's Streets Alive Coordinator on (02) 9936 8283.