Growing green communities

Andrew Barker and Clancy Retallick at ECH Retirement Village in Victor Harbor with (back) two-year-old Azrah Lang, Anthony Lang, Gail van Ryswyk, Stacey Campbell, Josh Lang, Isobell Robinson, Lyn Egtberts, Shirley Davies, Jan Whiteread and Mark Rose.
Andrew Barker and Clancy Retallick at ECH Retirement Village in Victor Harbor with (back) two-year-old Azrah Lang, Anthony Lang, Gail van Ryswyk, Stacey Campbell, Josh Lang, Isobell Robinson, Lyn Egtberts, Shirley Davies, Jan Whiteread and Mark Rose.

Middleton's Andrew Barker, an organic fruit and vegetable grower, is looking for people to help him start a network of vegetable gardeners to share their organic produce with the community.

He already has a small team of green thumbs with him, looking to develop small urban backyard gardens for residents on the Fleurieu.

The group is currently volunteering their time to build a garden for the residents at ECH Retirement Village, Victor Harbor.

The garden will give residents their own supply of organic food, and a pleasant area to work on the garden and socialise.

Using recycled materials to build raised garden beds, Andrew said the garden will be a mix of vegies, herbs and flowers.

"The idea is to help people to grow their own food, bringing health to the local community," Andrew said.

He is looking for more people to be involved with future projects, by either lending a hand, or their garden to build a vegie patch in.

"The idea is eventually we will help to make some backyard gardens on people's properties.

"Then we would get those people to bring everything together to some sort of hub.

"So hopefully we'll end up with lots of organic, locally grown food that is cheap or free. We'd love it to be free."

Andrew also wants to help people in need who cannot afford to buy healthy, organic food.

Currently, Andrew grows vegetable and herb seedlings to share with the community from his home and at the Market of Earthly Delights - a monthly produce sharing market.

Victor Harbor Natural Resource Centre co-ordinator, Clancy Retallick, said that local foods are fresher, taste better and are better adapted to the local environment.

"Once a month we have a garden produce sharing market called the Market of Earthly Delights," Clancy said.

The market invites people to share anything from their gardens and enjoy the bounties of others.

To find out about being involved with other local growers sharing their produce, and donating the surplus to local charities, schools and people in need, contact Andrew on 0404 281 635.

The group is also seeking people to lend a hand, their backyards, or donations of gardening supplies and materials.

To find out more about sharing your own garden produce at the Market of Earthly Delights go to www.vhnrc.com