Becoming green thumbs

A COMMUNITY garden in Swan Hill is available for children to learn to grow their own herbs and vegetables.

Located at George Lay Park, Swan Hill community vegetable garden members are offering three one-metre raised beds for children to plant in.

Gardening group member Brian Butler said adults were also welcome to join the gardening group.

"We had the idea of offering these 1m square beds to the children, and then when Woolworths Supermarkets came up with this (Discovery Garden) promotion we thought it was ideal," he told The Guardian.

"We also encourage the mums and dads to come with the children, but if the children want to come down alone that's alright.

"We do expect that they will come down, look after it and water it once a week."

Mr Butler said the importance of growing things and "that we need to grow food" was something already taught to children.

"They like the idea of growing things," he said.

"You can't fit a lot in a square metre, but it's a good starting point for the children.

"We feel it's a worthwhile project even if we don't get much produce out of it because people do come down and have a look."

Children can bring their own seedlings or plants, with garden members on hand to assist them with the planting.

St Mary's Primary School students use a section of the garden.

Mr Butler said working bees were held at the garden every Saturday morning from 10am. Membership to join the group is free.

"The first one of the month is a coffee and planning, more social thing," he said.

"Anyone can become a member of the group."

Implemented in 2013, Mr Butler said Swan Hill Rural Council helped to develop the garden and provide water.

The garden received a $3000 grant from Swan Hill Rural City Council in 2017 through the community development fund.

Some of the funds were spent on a new fence, new signage and wheelchair accessibility.

"The biggest problem with a community garden concept is that people think they can just come and go as they please and not do anything and then come and pick everything," Mr Butler said.