STAGE one of The Cape Community Garden at Cape Paterson is up and running, and is already generating a huge volume of fresh, healthy produce for residents of the sustainable estate and the broader Bass Coast community.
The Cape garden is set to become one of the largest urban food gardens in Australia and will produce approximately $130,000 of food per annum for The Cape’s residents when complete.
The first section of the garden was completed in July and is already generating large amounts of produce including pumpkin, zucchinis, silverbeet, chillies, tomatoes, coriander, beetroot, sunflowers, oregano, basil, celery, parsley, kale, broccoli, spring onions, bok choi, rocket, guavas, and about eight varieties of citrus including mandarins, oranges, lemons and limes.
The innovative garden has a clever design that captures clean rainwater from the rooftops of the first homes at The Cape estate, which is delivered to the garden via a major gravity feed pipe, and is stored in a 230,000 litre rainwater tank, before being used to water over 60 large raised garden beds.
The rainwater harvesting scheme will eventually produce about three million litres of water per annum, drought-proofing the garden.
The garden beds are raised bottom watering ‘wicking’ beds, which are water efficient and eliminate most bending for gardeners and most weeding requirements.
The garden was planted nine weeks ago and has already produced over 350 kilograms of fresh vegetables.
Director of The Cape, Brendan Condon, said the garden is proving to be a huge success and has exploded with fresh produce.
“It will eventually become a destination and tourism attraction for the Bass Coast area,” he said.
“We are currently testing the design of the garden and are donating some of the produce to the Community Meal, a great initiative run by the Bass Coast Anglican Parish, which feeds around 120 people on a Monday night at the Wonthaggi Church Hall.
“The meal is backed by a great team of volunteers, businesses and gardeners around Wonthaggi and Bass Coast who donate time and produce to the meal.
“We are really pleased to find a home for some of the large volume of surplus fresh produce coming from the garden and to support the community meal.”
Reverend Graeme Peters from the Bass Coast Anglican Parish is incredibly grateful of the donation of fresh food from The Cape garden.
“It’s been fantastic and we’ve been using it in the cooking, and whatever’s left over people can take home afterwards,” he said.
“It’s great getting premium quality food and giving people good vegetables is a real blessing.”
The Cape Community Garden sits in the first stage of one of Australia’s best designed, most energy efficient housing estates, where homes are carbon neutral, run on clean energy and have annual power bills as low as $500 per annum.
The first street at The Cape – Periwinkle Place – is now being built out with the first residents moving in by Christmas.
The garden is designed for the busy modern lifestyle of residents, and combined with sustainable and energy efficient homes, it shows how housing estates can reduce food bills and cost of living.
The garden is open every Saturday and Sunday between 12pm and 4pm, or you can visit www.liveatthecape.com.au
Cape garden explodes with fresh produce