The first on-site meeting of the new Cootamundra Community Garden attracted 40 people to the grounds of the Cootamundra Baptist Church at 90 Thompson Street on Saturday morning.
Julianne Collingridge, one of the originators of the project, outlined ideas that have been developed so far, and invited everyone to walk around the area, brainstorm ideas, join the management committee and get involved generally in helping to build another enjoyable social activity for the town.
The L-shaped area covers 800 sq metres - a bit less than a quarter of an acre - beside and behind the church.
"We won't have a detailed plan ready until the first management committee meeting, but we've got a general idea of what we're going to have," Ms Collingridge said.
"The area alongside the church gets the sun, so that's where our gardens will be, while there are a number of large trees in the back yard we'll keep and that'll be a nice shade area for the barbecue and pizza oven and for a children's play area - and we'll have a chook yard in the corner.
"The children's area will have water with pipes where they can play and learn about gardening, and they'll possibly have a sandpit."
Saturday's meeting split into four groups, one looking at the children's area, another at where to situate a large water tank and a storage shed, another at the chicken area and signage, and the fourth finalising where the garden beds will go, how they will be oriented, and how wide the paths will be to allow access to all comers including those with prams and wheelchairs.
There'll also need to be decisions made on general administration, membership fees, working bees etc.
"It's not a place to feed Cootamundra, for people to come in any time and take food," Ms Collingridge said.
"It's for members to come in and share the space - it's more about interactivity between people who wouldn't normally meet, and people who want to learn.
"There were people there because they want to have chooks but don't know anything about them, so they'll come along and be part of the garden to learn about how to keep them.
"There'll be composting and worm farms, and there'll be no pesticides that aren't organic - there are ways of keeping bugs off vegetables, like spraying with soapy water and using tomato dusts that aren't derived from something dangerous."
Funding of $70,000 has come from the NSW Government's Building Stronger Communities Fund. It will be used for stormwater drainage, plumbing and electrical work, a water tank, barbecue and pizza oven and materials for the garden beds. You can join through the Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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