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Green fingers, not so green, or a need to be involved? Cootamundra’s Community Garden is open and waiting for all members of the community to dig in and benefit from providing a space to grow food, reconnect with nature, improve your fitness, share, and swap ideas and knowledge and interact with people who enjoy like-minded activities.

The Cootamundra Community Garden was made possible with the foresight of local lady Julianne Collingridge and a grant from the NSW State Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund Round Two.

The $70,000 grant has seen raised garden beds erected, a garden shed, chicken coop, compositing area, shade sails, barbeque area, rainwater tanks, and solar panels installed on a vacant section of land at the Baptist Church site in Thompson Street Cootamundra.

The fully self-sufficient garden has an array of implements and gardening tools for use as well as a pizza oven to cook a delicious pizza from fresh vegetables grown in the garden.

The benefits of community gardens are well documented and can assist with providing a place for those who otherwise would not have the space or opportunity to grow food, to helping people and reconnecting with nature. Gardening in communities also encourages fitness, sharing of healthy seasonal fresh vegetables and fruit, increased social interaction and sense of community belonging, and increased gardening knowledge and expertise. The produce generated can assist with access to fresh food, improve mental health and promote relaxation.

The garden is now operated by the Cootamundra Ministry Hub, which also incorporates the Community Kitchen facility another resource open to all members of the public who would like to have some social interaction and enjoy a hearty meal with friendly people.

All members of public are invited to come along to open days at the Community Garden to meet others, check out the facility and perhaps join in the joy of growing and eating fresh food. The open days will be held on Tuesday afternoons, during the first three weeks of September (subject to weather and future COVID-19 restrictions).

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The Cootamundra Community Garden is open for all people with a gardening interest or want to learn about growing their own food. Check out their Facebook page.