Welcome to March Street Community Gardens
The March Street Community Gardens Group (MSCGG) came into existence following the Newcastle City Council (NCC) adopting a Community Gardens Program in 1999. In June, 2000, NCC published ‘Community Gardens’, a booklet which was the official guide to the community greening volunteer training program, and it was expected that all community garden groups use it. 2020 saw the group celebrate 21 years of the gardens.
The MSCGG has its own charter, which spells out its mission statement, aims and objectives. In addition, the MSCGG has a set of rules which it expects its members to abide by, following their induction.
The MSCGG is an autonomous group of people who have been permitted by Newcastle City to make use of a designated area of land and materials in the March Street Reserve in Kotara. Just a short distance from Blackbutt Reserve.
MEMBERS CAN ENJOY
Members of the group – apart from making use of an allotted plot – take part in a variety of activities such as:
- worm farms
- compost making
- fruit trees
- plant sales
- honey sales
- bus trips to various places of interest, e.g. botanical gardens, other community gardens, members’ gardens
- listening to invited speakers who tell of their hobby or skill, e.g. growing orchids, bee keeping and the like.
- educational talks.
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Friday morning is the most popular day for retirees, who arrive at around 09:00 to garden and then participate in the “Happy Hour”, which commences at 10:00. This is the time for a cup of tea or coffee… with biscuits or cake… swapping news, and telling about things of interest with friends. Feel free to join us and bring your own mug along.
The first and third Fridays of each month are usually Working-Bee days. There is always a morning tea – bring a small plate to share.
Sometimes, if things go to plan, these days are followed by a barbecue lunch that can be enjoyed by our members.
This is also the best day to come along to speak to our members, ask any questions and to see the gardens in action and learn about any upcoming projects.
We also sell honey on these days – $8 a jar – the money raised goes towards buying equipment and supplies to help improve the gardens for everyone’s enjoyment.
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Members can tend to their gardens at any time that's convenient for them 7 days/week
Member Gardener's Information
We believe that our “site”, together with the other features of the BLACKBUTT RESERVE, are tourist attractions. The Gardens that were first established by Newcastle City Council in 1999, has been maintained and improved by the founding gardeners and new-member. As the caretakers of this beautiful place, we are striving to ensure that it survives and continues to meet the needs of the community.
Our Members are asked to help out with:
Tending to the Worm Farm, producing “worm juice”
Keeping pathways on both sides of a plot free of weeds, leaf matter
Composting… soil enrichment process
Chooks – for eggs and compost material
Weeding and watering of the community plots
Caring for individual family plots
Regular housekeeping tasks especially on Working-Bee days
Caring for tools – sharpening, oiling, etc
Mowing of the law
some of the local wildlife that visit the Gardens
OUR GARDENS SUPPORTERS
We would like to acknowledge the long-standing support and assistance provided our our Group, including the land that we are setup on. The Council have played a major role in allowing us to develop and improve the gardens for 21 years.
Special mention goes to Newcastle Council’s Gardens Coordinator – Mark Pepperall and his team, who are always there to encourage and provide assistance and who support the efforts of the Committee to continually improve the Gardens for its members.
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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
IS THERE SOMETHING YOU’D LIKE TO KNOW ABOUT MARCH STREET COMMUNITY GARDENS? YOU MIGHT FIND THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTIONS HERE…
What kind of activities are there that we can get involved with at the Gardens?
Excursions, working-bees, education sessions, learning from other members and barbecues. The NEWS + GALLERY page has information about what’s on and our current months Newsletter that is free to download.
Do you have bee hives at the Gardens?
Sadly the bee hives are no longer on the site. One of our member is a very experienced apiarist and can answer a lot of your questions.
When are the Gardens open?
We are open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
Members of the public are invited to come to the MSC Gardens to see our setup any day and to join, you are best to attend at 9am on a Friday morning.
Do you have a limit on how many members can join?
We encourage new members to join us.
Fresh ideas, new faces and enthusiastic new members are always welcome!
Do I need to know anything about gardening to become a member?
No, you can be any age, and experience isn’t necessary… just come along with a passion or interest in learning about gardening. Our members have a wealth of information and are always happy to answer any questions and can steer you in the right direction if you get stuck.
For example what time of year to plant certain vegetables, how to prepare the soil, pests and weeds… there’s always something new to learn.
What does it cost to join?
There is no fee to join the MSC Gardens. If you decide to purchase a plot, there is a small levy payable per annum.
There are currently spare plots available. Come on a Friday morning at 9.30am and speak to our Treasurer.