Fresh produce and community spirit are sprouting at Grow and Harvest.
The bounty of fresh fruit and vegetables growing at Tatachilla market garden, Grow and Harvest, is just the start of the nourishment being provided to the local community. The recently established business is conducting workshops for schools, people ageing actively and corporate teams.
The produce that results from the workshops is sold at the garden gate, and sent out to families in need of food assistance.
Grow and Harvest, an ON Business Partner Program member, is owned and managed by Rebecca (Bec) Walker on her 12,000 square metre property.
Helping the community to find a way to connect with food and each other is Grow and Harvest’s ultimate goal.
“The best outcome from our programs is that people feel encouraged to grow something in whatever space they have available at home. By doing so, people are creating a space they can enjoy spending time in, and they are rewarded with fresh food,” Bec says.
Sustainability and gardening workshops for school classes are held onsite at Grow and Harvest or on school grounds, depending on the needs and learning interests of the group.
“We want local young people to know what fresh food is supposed to look like and taste like,” Bec says. “The students get their hands in the dirt and have the experience of doing some gardening while learning about food.”
Activities focussed on encouraging active ageing are held at Grow and Harvest with the intention of reducing isolation among older people. The garden serves as a place for local residents to get out in the fresh air, and enjoy growing food together.
“The garden is a place for people to connect with others. Everyone is welcome,” Bec says. “People participating in our activities say it has helped them find purpose.”
Corporate groups can visit Grow and Harvest to work together to establish and maintain a patch; plant seeds, grow produce and then pack it for delivery to Foodbank at Christies Beach.
“The corporate program is a great team-building activity that gives back to the community,” Bec says.
About 25 local families are buying produce from the garden gate on a weekly basis. Bec hopes to supply more families in the coming years. The business has a small group of volunteers that help with gardening activities. New helpers are welcome any time.
Grow and Harvest joined the council’s ON Business Partner Program in 2018.
“ON Business is an exciting gateway for us to connect with the community. It enabled us to gain the business advice we needed at the outset of our venture,” Bec says.
Grow and Harvest successfully applied for a start-up grant in 2019 that helped to fund the structural irrigation for the vegetable patches, and resources and tools for the programs.
Bec Walker and John Walker enjoy their harvest of healthy food; volunteers help with the many activities that need to be done in the garden.