By Romy Stephens
With many people being reintroduced to their gardens during Covid-19 lockdowns, the team at the Cockatoo Community House is looking to support local gardeners.
The community house has welcomed two sustainable food community development officers, who will offer advice through a series of gardening workshops.
Lisa Magee and Chelsea Chapman will work with local community groups and residents over the next six months.
Ms Magee is a qualified horticulturist from Gembrook with 30 years’ experience. She said she continued to “have a true passion for home gardening and the environment.”
“Growing your own food is so rewarding then to cook up a storm and feed your family is so satisfying,” she said.
“Through this position I hope to inspire and connect with children, all people who are curious about gardening alongside keen gardeners wanting to continue to learn more.
“I look forward to working alongside all the fantastic community groups that are already making a difference.”
Ms Chapman has lived in Cockatoo for four years and said she enjoyed being adventurous when gardening.
“I’m a passionate gardener who is always trying to grow new and unusual things,” she said.
“This year I am experimenting with spaghetti squash, cucamelons and rocoto chilli, as well as the usual suspects strawberries, tomatoes, corn, lettuce, etc.”
As local gardeners, the pair are aware of the challenges when growing in the area and hope to provide more local context for new gardeners.
They are also looking to host more hands-on workshops as Covid-19 restrictions ease, such as composting and growing new plants for free.
Zoom meetings will run every Wednesday afternoon at 4pm. Current sessions, called Zoom in on your Garden, allow people to brainstorm new ideas and troubleshoot gardening issues.
Anyone, from experienced gardeners to beginners, are encouraged to join.
For the Zoom link, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Those not on Zoom can also send an email or call 0401 062 396.