Pittwater Life September 2018 Issue

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WIN Tickets to see Diesel. As Happy as. Garden Parties. Under the Microscope. Get a Job! Electric Dreams.

Special Feature



Meet the sustainability-minded folk who first sowed

the seeds and now continue to nurture Pittwater’s

community gardens. Special report by Rosamund Burton.

Avalon Community Garden

Walking up a narrow path past a

paw paw tree, a cluster of citrus

trees and a chicken enjoying a

dust bath, I reach a long wooden table,

in the middle of Avalon Community

Garden, around which nine people are

gathered for morning tea. Mugs are

handed around, along with homemade

banana bread, and spread out on the

table is freshly picked produce for people

to take home – chillies, carrots, spinach,

lettuces, herbs and lavender.

Seventy-six-year-old Heath Blanshard

has been involved in the garden since

it was set up nine years ago. The group

of gardeners approached Ian Bowsher,

headmaster of Barrenjoey High, to see if

some land could be made available for a

community garden. He offered them this

mound, which had been created from

building rubble in the 1980s when the

school hall was built.

“We laid carpet over the ground for

nine months to kill the kikuyu grass,

lantana and the other weeds,” explains


From the outset they started making

lots of compost to improve the soil.

“Every day we pick up a bag of leftover

vegetable leaves from Avalon Organics,

we get coffee grounds from Café Relish

and Alfonso’s Café at North Avalon, and

horse manure from Ingleside. Also, Prodjuice,

a juicing company in Warriewood

brings us their pulp.”

Sunday morning is when the members

garden together, each maintaining

various sections, but the garden is open

every day outside school hours, and during

the week people are rostered daily to

water and feed the chooks.

Heath looks after “the enclosure” – a


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