Growing stronger with Bucaan Community House Inc
Tucked away at the end of Karambi Street in Chigwell, you’ll find a thriving community garden that's doing a lot more than growing vegetables.
Run by a group of dedicated volunteers through Bucaan Community House Inc, the garden is a source of friendship and teamwork. It gives members of the community healthy food choices and a place to learn new gardening skills.
“I think the best thing about being a part of the community garden is actually the community that it forms,” volunteer Rachael Smith said.
“You get to know people and they get to know you. It gives you a reason for being here.
“It doesn’t matter if you have material possessions. As long as you’ve got friends, you can manage, and that’s why people are here.”
The gate is always open at the garden, with the broader community welcome to visit on Tuesdays to gather their food for the week. The volunteers love showing visitors what’s on offer and what’s ready to eat.
The food from the garden is also used at events held by Bucaan Community House Inc, including the weekly Tuesday barbecue – a favourite for many, especially those who may be feeling isolated, live with mental health issues, live alone or don’t have cooking skills.
Bucaan Community House Inc receives no funding for the work they do. It’s a community effort to gather everything they need to keep the garden growing, from seedlings and soil, to mulch, compost and straw.
“None of the garden beds belong to one particular person,” Bucaan Community House manager Linda Kemp said.
“Everybody pitches in, works together and the vegetables become everybody’s.”
The team was thrilled to receive a grant through our Community Fund program, which will help them grow even more food for everyone to enjoy.
“We thought we’d won lotto!” Linda said.
“It’s amazing what you can do with that amount of money when you put your mind to it,” Rachael said.
The volunteers are so proud of the fruit, veggies and herbs they’re growing at the garden, and more importantly, absolutely love cooking with them. Some of their favourite recipes include rhubarb crumble, zucchini slice, apricot and plum jams, and fig and tomato relishes.
We’ve helped over 200 community groups through our Community Fund program, with small grants of up to $2000 on offer twice a year.
Grass roots organisations play a big part in making our communities stronger, and the community garden is the perfect example of the type of projects our Fund was set up to support.
Alongside Bucaan Community House Inc, we’ve supported nine other not-for-profit groups in this round of our Community Fund:
• Summerhill Scout Group
• Jordan River Service Inc
• Fingal Valley Neighbourhood House
• Central Coast Community Shed
• Launceston Benevolent Society
• Rosebery Junior Sports Association
• Tasmanian Pony and Riding Club
• Guide Dogs Tasmania
If you’re part of a group that could use a helping hand, we’d love to hear from you.