All you seed is love: Hobby farmer grows village garden
HOBBY farming has reached a new-time high in Bundaberg, after a former landscaper transformed a 4000 sqm block into a small crop garden and along with fruit and veg, the patch is sprouting love.
Local man Les Mills created the space at Carlyle Gardens over a time frame of four years, with the help residents from the retirement village.
"I wanted to create a community garden for everyone in the village to enjoy, as well as provide a steady stream of fresh produce," Mr Mills said.
"A team of committed residents has worked on the community garden for four years and we now have an acre of productive plants."
Passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and with the intention to supply the village with an abundant source of fresh ingredients, the garden showcases everything from pumpkins, zucchini and pawpaw to spinach and tomatoes.
"Home-made pumpkin soup has been a favourite among our residents as we've harvested about 75 pumpkins this year," Mr Mills said.
"We also have cucumbers, cumquats, lemons and herbs - something for everyone really."
Among the team of dedicated residents are former builders and passionate green thumbs.
Generous residents who are able to contribute financially have also donated to the cause to help fund maintenance costs, as well as the seeds, fertiliser and building materials.
Carlyle Gardens acting village manager Belinda Hensler said the community garden had assisted residents in many ways, by giving them a sense of purpose and connection.
It is Bowel Cancer month, a campaign that aims to raise awareness about the disease and how a healthy dose of fruit and vegetables can help reduce the risk of developing cancer.
"When Les asked RetireAustralia if he could create a community garden on some vacant land in the village grounds, we were thrilled to be able to assist,'' Ms Hensler said.
"There is an abundance of produce every month, which is put into the community centre for residents to take home.
"Many people at Carlyle Gardens have been touched by cancer in some way, so we're grateful that our community garden could go some way towards reducing our residents' risk of bowel cancer."
Carlyle Gardens in Bargara is just a short walk away from some of the region's stunning beaches and offers security, convenience and support to residents within more than 300 independent living villas.
For more information, visit retireaustralia.com.au/carlylegardens.