The day dawned windless and crisp. At 9:15 we realized that a yoga and meditation session would have to be postponed while we anxiously surveyed the 30 poles belonging to Chris’ marquee we needed to set up. Chris sailed in on his bike with the instructions 5 minutes later, averting a collective aneurism.
Orange t-shirts were donned by the MCCG crew, as we rushed to set up breakfast bbqs, coffee, tea, wifi, skype connections, sound equipment, shelters and gardening tools.
Pauline provided us with a crate for the vertically challenged, decorated with green fabric and red tape for the official speech.
Aunty Di Kerr arrived and welcomed us to country, speaking about her family’s connection with the Merri Creek and environs. She thanked us for seeking to create beauty with our garden.
Bernie then spoke about the history of the MCCG, red tape and decentralized organizational structures.Jo Connellan, Greens counsellor for Moreland City Council, committee member of CERES and community garden advocate then spoke about community groups, longevity and congratulated the MCCG on their efforts.
Our virtual guests from our sister garden in East Brunswick New Jersey, USA spoke via skype projected on the big screen, and Rich read our sister garden resolution. Many tears were shed.
Breakfast! Pancakes were served with maple syrup, fruit and yoghurt. Muffins, lemonade, tea and coffee were gulped, a delicious feast provided by Rich, Liz, Heather, Anabel, Sue, Eleisha,. We then headed to the garden for the
official turning of the soil, followed by round of Huzzahs. Around 33 people began the immense and rewarding task of digging up kikuyu grass and rocks. Throughout the day we unearthed large chunks of bluestone, brick,
shoes, bones and other miscellaneous items to a wonderful soundtrack, a compilation of everyone’s favourite garden music. It was during this that friends , strangers, mums, dads and children could be seen talking and connecting over their spades, mattocks, trowels, pitchforks and rakes. Gardeners paraded their funky new gumboots. Everyone got covered in mud.
Lunch! Halal sausages, veggie burgers, onions and gallons of sauce, delicious home baked cakes and sweets. People could barely move, but nothing would stop us! We managed to crawl back into the garden and continue digging, and were rewarded by the sun breaking through the clouds.
People walking past the garden stopped in their tracks, and many were immediately inspired to pick up a tool and join in. The temporary fencing went up around the site, and then trenches were dug for food scraps to be piled into. Gypsum was sprinkled and dug in. Then showers and we regrouped at the EC for food,drinks and huzzahs.
What an amazing day- so many new faces and wonderful conversations! And its only the first of many busy bees to come!
Check out some pics and video from the day below: