A new community garden is now open in Kew on the grassed road reserve adjacent to Earl Street.

The garden has 50 individually-allocated growing plots and is also open to the broader community to enjoy features such as a communal food forest, which will provide seasonal opportunities for harvest sharing. We encourage the community to come and enjoy this space. 

The garden’s name reflects the location’s links to Boroondara’s past and the historic train station that was located there. Willsmere Station was part of the old steam era Outer Circle Rail Line that ran for two years from 1891 to 1893. In naming the garden Willsmere Station Community Garden, we hope to help foster a strong sense of place for the community and garden users.

Features

The garden includes:

  • 50 individually allocated growing plots including raised plots accessible for residents in wheelchairs
  • communal growing and sharing areas, including herb beds and a food forest
  • demonstration wicking beds
  • a children's area with circular garden beds
  • a shelter and community gathering area.

Garden management

The garden is managed by the Willsmere Station Community Garden Incorporated (WSCGI) community group.

Membership costs

Residents and community groups can apply to become plot holder members or general members. WSCGI has set membership fees to cover the running costs of the garden. 

The cost of plot holder membership is:

  • $100 per year for individuals
  • $75 per year for individuals with a valid concession card
  • $150 per year for community groups.

The cost of general membership is:

  • $10 per year
  • $5 per year for holders of a valid concession card.

Plot holder membership

Plot holder members are allocated their own plot and a container in the shed to store small tools. They also have access to communal areas and are welcome to share in the harvest from these areas.

General membership

General membership caters for residents who are interested in participating in communal gardening, but do not wish to manage their own plot.

For residents who are interested in managing their own plot while there are none available, general membership allows you to actively participate while waiting for a plot to become available.

General members have access to communal areas and are welcome to participate in maintaining and sharing in the harvest from these areas. They are welcome to join in on all garden events and have access to the shed to use communal tools.

Waiting list

Due to strong community interest in the garden, a ballot was held to allocate plots to interested community members. Following the ballot, unsuccessful applicants were placed on a waiting list. Interested parties are welcome to apply for a plot and will be placed on the waiting list.

Plots will be allocated in order, with new applicants being placed at the bottom of the list. Residents wishing to become involved in the garden’s activities while on the waiting list are welcome to apply for general membership.

How to apply for membership

To apply for either plot holder or general membership, please email Willsmere Station Community Garden Inc. at [email protected].

Visions and objectives

Willsmere Station Community Garden is an inclusive and nurturing gathering space that is committed to the principles of sustainability in the growing and sharing of food.

Its objectives are to:

  • improve food security and promote healthy eating
  • enhance the use of green space in Kew
  • increase community connection and reduce social isolation
  • strengthen local neighbourhood dynamics
  • build a strong sense of place
  • reduce our environmental impact
  • encourage local biodiversity and connect with nature
  • increase the number of locals engaged in food growing
  • nurture curiosity and provide hands-on learning for children
  • ensure longevity of the gardening community by using sustainable management practices which are open, participatory and non-judgemental.

More information

For more information, visit the Willsmere Station Community Garden Facebook page or contact Amy Shaw on 9278 4083 or at [email protected].

Please note, Council does not manage the waiting list or day-to-day operations of the garden.
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