Well it has been about a month that I have been volunteering with Transition Bondi in the Community Garden, and in that time I feel like I have already grown and blossomed from the experience of working with Kit and learning some gardening basics.
It seems my family and friends also think so, evidenced by the ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ on Facebook when I posted photos of what I achieved in my own building of a back yard garden during the first week of the Spring School Holidays. My sister’s comment – ‘who are you! and what have you done with my sister! although this does suit you’ – made me chuckle. Love my Mum’s comment ‘my little gardener, you have found your mojo’ (didn’t realise I’d lost it … but I certainly can feel a spring in my step!)
The back yard garden project was not done all on my own. The seed of thought was planted about 12 months ago with my lovely young neighbour, Tilly, who I’ve watched grow from a child into a beautiful young woman while we lived side by side, in the same building, in Rose Bay. How lucky we are to have such a warm relationship with each other.
Kit, seeing my enthusiasm and excitement whilst volunteering and chatting at the Community Garden, offered seeds, seedlings and some established plants for my Spring project. She also kindly granted me an extra compost bin, as ours was full. Now we have one ready to use on my garden and we have just started our second bin. So far the bins accommodate two units in the building – I’d would love everyone to use them at some point.
Kit taught me how to manage the compost, how to care for the seeds, how to replant established plants and a watering schedule for each. Tilly has also been doing her own research and we have both participated in some Grow it Local and Transition Bondi webinars. When we planted we noticed there were lots of worms in the soil as we had done some soil preparation in Autumn. We laid out some compost and used old chop sticks to label the plants.
Kit and I sorted some seeds into little hand made envelopes (Jade’s Origami initiative). My neighbour used seeds she had been collecting. We now both have our own little green house (mine on my north facing balcony window) and we’re patiently waiting, watching and watering, to support them to come to life. My lettuce has surfaced and Tilly’s cucumbers are popping up.
This project has really provided a lovely opportunity for connection and common purpose in our building, and my connection with Transition Bondi has provided this for me within my broader community. Transition Bondi is really the first community volunteering I have done in my own community, other than surf life saving when I was 30. As a Bondi original, born here 54 years ago, I am pleased to be involved with this important group at this important time.