Canowindra Community Garden

Design Feature
Type of Project
Landowner Strategy
State
New South Wales
Location
Regional

Canowindra is low density, small regional historic township with a population of 2,258, located in the central west of New South Wales. While Community Gardens tend to be established in densely populated areas to provide residents without access to open space with the opportunity to garden, in Canowindra the Community Garden is as much about community connection as it is about gardening. The garden working bees are called ‘Conversation Gardening’ instead of ‘Community Gardening’, because in Canowindra, the social interaction is as important as the opportunity to collectively grow organic herbs and seasonal vegetables.

Conversation Gardening

The Community Garden was established in October 2011, following a land allocation from the Canowindra Uniting Church. The land was previously one half of the Church’s parking lot and is just two blocks from the centre of town. This proximity allows visitors and residents to drop by on their way to or from other events that take them into town. 

Local gardeners at the Canowindra Community Garden.
Local gardeners at the Canowindra Community Garden.

The 600-square metre community garden is run by a committee of community members and the Canowindra Uniting Church congregation, who oversee the employment of a Community Garden Coordinator and manage the funds for resources that can’t be obtained through donations. The communal garden does not have official membership and is open to all.

Welcome to Canowindra Community Garden.
Welcome to Canowindra Community Garden.

The garden is designed with large pathways, to encourage people to walk through the space, making it an attractive and inviting space for people of all ages and abilities, including school groups from the local preschool, primary and high schools, who regularly visit the garden. The entrance features a colourful gate, designed and built by a local high school teacher using recycled bicycles.

While some people hesitate to take produce from the garden, as they are concerned people will think they are stealing, others harvest large quantities, taking more than they need. The Community Garden exists so that everyone can participate and take a share – which means enough for a meal or two for their family.  Community Gardens are a relatively new addition to the modern urban landscape and culturally, we still have a lot to learn about how to interact with these spaces.   

Project team

  • Community Garden Coordinator
  • Canowindra Uniting Church congregation
  • Canowindra Community Garden Committee

Project cost 

$6,000 per annum

One gardeners work.
One gardeners work.

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