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A tennis court with a difference

"Feed My People" community garden at Moree Uniting Church celebrates its opening.

On Sunday 5th April friends and supporters gathered to support the reclamation of the old tennis court of the Uniting Church as a meeting place and a gathering place for the community at large.

Less than six months ago the first sod was turned, and the first holes were drilled to create stage one of the "Feed My People" Community Garden, one of the first garden of its type in the north-west of New South Wales. A seeding grant from the Australian Open Garden Scheme allowed the church to proceed with constructing stage one of a three stage plan for the garden.

For many years, this patch of ground was a meeting place for people. It was a place for church picnics, Sunday school events and later again for lawn tennis matches. In recent years, this ground had not been actively used and did little more than get mowed and grow weeds.

In brilliant sunshine Garden Committee Chairperson Mrs. Cherylea Pritchard gave a brief run- down of the lead up to the garden opening. Church Chairperson Mr. Bruce Crosby acted as MC for the occasion and Mrs. Fraser cut a green ribbon to signify the garden was officially opened. Rev. Buchan gave a blessing for the garden and all those who will use it.

Other guests included Mrs. Katrina Humphries who was very supportive of the garden in her speech. She spoke of her own joy in gardening and wished the community garden every success , as she unveiled the plaque from the Open Garden Scheme.

Mrs. Penny Boydell and Mrs. Jewell McMcKee, Open Garden Scheme representatives in the North West were also present for the occasion and Mrs. Boydell expressed her delight on hearing that the "Feed My People" garden had won the grant that allowed them to begin building the garden.

Mr. David Aber and Mrs. Sue Aber were also guests, representing Moree Plains Shire Council. The Council have also been supportive of the project especially in the provision of soil for the raised garden beds.

Ease of access is a feature of the garden and of the 22 garden beds already established many are wheelchair accessible and others can be gardened from a standing position, especially for gardeners who will visit from Fairview Nursing Home.

Other guests included some folks from over the border in Queensland who are looking for advice on beginning their own garden as well members of the Moree community who already have garden beds and local business people who have been supporters in this initial stage. Moree Secondary College was represented and apologies were received from Moree College of TAFE, both institutions have shown their interest and practical support in being involved in this project.

Mrs. Fraser was in the area for the weekend and gave several talks at the Cooma, the property of Stuart and Penny Boydell. Their magnificent garden was open to the public this weekend as part of the Open Garden Scheme. Mrs. Fraser spoke of her joys and triumphs in four gardens she has created since her marriage to Mr. Fraser in 1956. She accompanied her talk with photos which were fascinating, especially the before and after shots.

Rev. Rob Buchan of the Moree Uniting Church also gave a brief speech at Cooma on Sunday afternoon about the development of the Community Garden behind the church.

Anyone interested in getting involved in the Community Garden or wanting a plot to garden for themselves, should ring Mrs. Pritchard on 6752-7152. 

Visit the garden website at https://moreeunitingchurch.wordpress.com/community-garden/