It’s “gloves on” at community gardens

28 May 2020

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 (l-r) Catherine O'Neill, Canterbury Community Gardens Association chairwoman; Peggy Kelly, Patron of Canterbury Community Gardens Association and Steve Hix, Orion at New Brighton Community Garden

It will be all hands on deck at community gardens this week as more people return to their favourite pastimes in Alert Level 2.

All that planting, weeding and digging won’t risk dirt under the fingernails, thanks to Orion’s donation of hundreds of gardening gloves to the Canterbury Community Gardens’ Association (CCGA) which supports 35 gardens around Christchurch and surrounding suburbs.

New Brighton community garden manager, and CCGA chairwoman Catherine O'Neill says COVID-19 presents even greater hygiene challenges to this thriving community activity.

“In the past when new volunteers came along to help and haven't brought their own gloves, they were directed to the store of shared gloves. To make sure we are not passing anything on, now we’ll be able to give people their own pair of new gloves.

“It’s such a peaceful friendly way to spend a couple of hours with other people, and now everyone can join in, without having to worry. There’s lots to do in a garden in Autumn. We will be clearing out spent summer crops, planting garlic, more broad beans, snow peas, broccoli and cabbage, spinach, coriander and parsley, and replenishing the soil with compost and mulch,” said O'Neill.

“Whether you’re eight or 80, a community garden is a place you can wander into and find a place that makes you feel at home. You might want to pick up a spade and get digging, or perhaps you’d rather just sit and enjoy the surroundings, whatever your pleasure, community gardens are there for everyone.”

Orion Connections Manager, Steve Hix, who has arranged power connections for a number of community gardens over the years, organised the glove donation by Orion with the support of Mitre 10 Ferrymead.

“We have a staff community fund, and I thought this would be a great initiative to support, in a practical way,” said Hix.

“It is great to see people investing their time in a community activity that builds sustainability, gets everyone together, and produces organically grown fresh food.”

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Canterbury Community Gardens Association chairwoman Catherine O'Neill with organic carrots grown at New Brighton Community Garden