The Community Garden was started by Garden Master Wayne six years ago, with the good intentions of bringing the community together to grow food to donate to the Food Bank, and provide a free source of food for the community.

Located in town next to the Police Station on Wi Neera Street, the garden is easily accessible for everyone, and sits on traditional growing land. It’s some of the best soil in Raglan.

Wayne has been working alongside the Enviro Centre’s Danielle to keep the garden going, but they could use some extra support.

They find help from a few community members, but their main hands have been from the backpackers who are travelling through Raglan. “It’s kind of their way to give back to the community,” Wayne said.

But they would like to bring in more of the locals, those living in Raglan year-round.

The Community Garden provides learning opportunities. Wayne aims for the ‘teach a man to fish’ mentality when it comes to the garden.

“It’s an educational experience for everyone. And you don’t have to be a gardener to get involved,” Danielle mentioned.

Like most community gardens, everyone gets really excited when they first hear about it. People are really enthusiastic about free food. But there is always a lack of commitment.

“It’s nice to see the same faces helping out, but we’d like to have new people join in too,” Wayne said.

Both Wayne and Danielle are busy wearing multiple hats within the community. So they are hoping to find a champion they can count on to lead the Community Garden Sessions with their assistance.

At the moment the garden has a few fruit trees, which were donated by Raglan Backpackers, potatoes, kumara and a few perennials that can grow year-round.

Many personal contributions have been given to the garden including time, money and lots of love. But a community garden can’t be left up to any one person. It’s a community garden, for the community. A free source of food for everyone.

Whether you have a green thumb or not, you can help out by making signs for the plants or do the weekly pick for the Food Bank. But if you’re not so keen on getting dirt on your hands, you could provide music during the Garden Sessions, bring snacks to keep the helpers happy or assist with community outreach to spread garden awareness.

If you are interested in volunteering in anyway, pop by the next Raglan Garden Sessions. Thursday 17 March from 4 to 6pm. Garden Master Wayne will provide some gardening tunes and knowledge and Danielle will bring the juice and cookies.

Karamea Puriri