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Oatlands School and Community Garden, Tasmania

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    This is a new initiative that has been simmering for some time. A few months ago a local teacher (who is leaving at the end of this year) recognised the wasted resource that is the School Garden. It is a largish town block accommodating several sheds and with formed beds and other facilities that were standing derelict. He organised a ‘build your own polytunnel training day that led to three days of voluntary assistance constructing a 7.2 metre polytunnel on the site and those of us involved in that decided to unearth the beds while we were diddling around waiting for the blokes to decide which widget came next.

    Our Facebook Page (Oatlands School and Community Garden Tasmania) was launched a couple of weeks ago and we will be selling plans through that page to raise funds for the garden.

    We have a Spring Garden tour organised for this Friday and an open day scheduled for 3 November if you are interested. The Open Day coincides with the whole-town garage sale, so it will be worth the trip.

    Will keep you posted, and everyone whether local or not, please Like and Share us on Facebook so that we can get the ball rolling and access markets for our plans.


    Sounds like a great plan, hope it works well. Having a good base of volunteers is really important, especially when people (like teachers) tend to come and go.


    Yes the volunteer situation is a challenge at present (just two or three of us – if you count the teacher). we do have most of the plots allocated to gardeners though, so it should be OK until people start to lose interest (or energy as the days get hotter).

    A new business in town, started by the daughter of a local, sells fresh fruit and veges – they have booked two plots which is great news. And our tour of five local gardens this Friday should hopefully result in more interest. Our Open Day is not until 3 November and should be great fun – will fill you in on the details when it is better organised – at present clay sculpting for kiddies, lots of seedlings and seeds from local gardens. And I will have a few red currant cuttings ready, along with some pots of chives by then. So who knows what else might happen?! Don’t forget to ‘like’ our page on FB and share it with your friends – we are hoping to get the message out interstate and overseas if we can so that we can sell as many copies of our plans as we can.


    We had a great inaugural vege patch tour yesterday – very well attended. In fact two people turned up after the bus left (having failed to book in advance or check their watches). The first garden is at the approach to Oatlands from the south, very windy and exposed site irrigated with bore water. The soil is an interesting shade of red, unlike most soil around here which is grey and sandy. The gardener is of the old school and practices bare earth gardening and is conservative with his planting regimen – preferred to defer the planting of his broad beans to avoid frost killing the blossoms.

    Garden two is quite different with organically grown herbs predominating. Established in raised beds surrounded by fieldstone drystone walls. The soil in the beds is essentially built up from the soil that was there, plus vast quantities of composted horse poo (from their own horses which are fed organically).

    Garden 3 concentrated on berry crops and has raspberry canes in polytunnels along with strawberries, for early cropping, as well as outdoor beds of both. The strawberries were still there after I left, honest they were!! :whistle:

    Garden four is presently not planted as the owners are planning to sell. The entire several acres of the property are landscaped using drystone walling – wind barriers, terracing and garden beds – quite stunning. The vege patch benefits from the two composting toilets and an array of compost heaps.

    Back to the Community Garden where we sold saved seeds to raise a bit of money and allocated another garden bed to a keen participant (who wants to experiment before going large-scale on their own property).

    So, a great day out for all and once again, I would show you pics, but none of the admin have bothered to respond to my multiple requests for assistance in doing this … 🙁


    It looks great! Such an awesome site you have, wish I lived there!

    Here’s the link to the facebook page (liked, by the way)


    Yay! Thanks Bron, We need seven more likes before I get full admin access to the page, but at present it seems there are five people talking about us (hope they join). This area is not comprised of ‘joiners’ I have discovered …


    We are currently planning our Open Day on 3 November. Come along if you can make it – it coincides with the Whole Town Garage Sale and the school is also having a garage sale of excess unwanted desks and such like. The program is:

    10-2 Kim Foale a local artist will be providing clay so that kids can make their own garden critters (an image of the potential outcomes is on the FB Page), 1-2 Urban Farmers will be there with their seedbank offering free vege seeds and mini-vege gardens (seeds in egg cartons). All day there will be snacks catered by Petite Pantry – our local vege shop – with tempting finger food like fresh spring rolls (ricepaper, rice noodles, mint sort, not the deepfried stuff). Tours of the garden and the plans we intend to start to implement as soon as I can organise the workforce, and possibly music in the garden if the muse strikes the person who offered. We are remaking the garden to be wheel chair accessible and so that the beds can be accessed from both sides. Seating, pergolas, arbours and such like are all part of the plan – it should be great (we hope). And I will be planting up a picking garden to tempt the teachers in – once they see how good it has started to look they will hopefully get their classes out there and doing fun stuff as they learn.

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