Plenty of planting, and a new garden planned

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Volunteers got busy digging in the dirt during The Salvation Army Alexandra Corps annual planting day last weekend.

Captain Logan Bathurst said they were planting seeds for a wide number of vegetables including carrots, potatoes, corn, tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers and zucchinis.

“We have probably at least 20 different varieties.”

Once grown, the vegetables would be used for “veggie coupon days”.

“People from the community that we have contact with, that we know will benefit from these vegetables, are invited to come, and they can select the vegetables that they want from our harvest.”

Typically the Salvation Army began growing in spring and their veggie coupon days began in the peak of the season for harvest from January until March and April, Capt Bathurst said.

Their garden on council land near the cemetery by Dunstan Rd would be moving next season to a larger plot of land closer to the road.

“Over the course of the season we will be moving so that next growing season we will all be growing from there.”

The new plot of land was still council land but it was larger so the Salvation Army was hoping to increase its production.

Other local community groups including the Lions and Rotary clubs as well as local businesses helped the Salvation Army with resources and labour, Capt Bathurst said.

There was also a regular group of volunteers who helped maintain the garden, and they were always grateful for other volunteers, he said.

Allotments were also available – “we have four free at the moment, so we are looking for people to fill those”.

When they moved to the new plot there would be more space for additional allotments.

The allotments were for families to use to grow their own food, “so basically a home garden”, Capt Bathurst said.

Garden manager Brian Seymour said the move to the new, larger plot would allow for five to six extra weeks of growing time because they would be further away from the hill by Alexandra Cemetery.

The garden had been at the current site for about 13 years, but he was looking forward to having a larger area.

The new plot was 12,000sq m in total compared with about 7000sq m at present, Mr Seymour said.