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Mount's community garden truly a family affair


Jerusalem artichokes, capsicums, tomatoes, cucumbers and basil are no longer on the shopping list for one family.

Todd Pakenham helped build the raised vegetable plots that make up the Mount Community Garden in the May St Reserve and now he is renting one of the 36 plots available there.

It has been a real family affair with partner Carolyn O'Neill and their son Jet Pakenham planting and tending the garden alongside him.

They had enjoyed the fruits of their labour throughout the summer but it was almost time to replant the garden for the winter, Mr Pakenham said.

The family turned up to be part of the official opening of the Mount Maunganui Lions Club project yesterday.

Lions club secretary Brian Dey said the project, the second community garden to be built on council-owned land in Tauranga, was already a huge success.

All 36 plots had been rented for $200 per year and there was already a waiting list of about five people, he said.

The club got the go-ahead from Tauranga City Council in September last year, had the garden beds built on November 17 and had the soil in on November 24. People started planting that day, Mr Dey said.

Most of the timber came from the Rena and was damaged before it was removed from the ship.

Tauranga City Council sustainability adviser Michelle Elborn said the garden was a great idea.

"From a sustainability perspective, projects like this are awesome because it's about learning some self-sustainability skills and also bringing people together."

Ms Elborn, Tauranga City councillor Catherine Stewart and Otumoetai community garden founder Anne Gourley cut the ribbon.

Mayor Stuart Crosby also spoke at the opening.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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