A successful Community Garden Open Day at Carlyle Gardens Retirement Village raised $645 for local charity, Angels Community Group.
(L-R) Councillor Greg Barnes, resident Judy Wilkie, RetireAustralia’s Rebecca Khuu and Amanda Fox, and Jeanie-Maree Hughes of Carlyle Gardens
Over 80 residents and visitors enjoyed the fun, social event, centred on a much-anticipated cooking competition, judged by Councillor Greg Barnes.
Using produce from the village’s popular community garden, residents crafted a range of delicious dishes including pumpkin fruit cake, ham and corn frittata, plum scones, vegetable slice and passionfruit butter.
Judy Wilkie’s mint ice-cream took out first prize.
Councillor Barnes said he was hugely impressed with the warmth of the community and standard of the competition.
“It’s been great to see so many residents supporting such a great cause, and their craft shows we have some very, very talented and gifted people here,” he said.
“All the produce was so great, and I’ve probably put on a couple of kilos tasting it all.
“As for Judy’s ice-cream, I went back and had another bit afterwards, I must admit!”
Attendees also shared morning tea, spent time relaxing in the community centre, and enjoyed a wide range of market stalls.
Stallholders included representatives from the health and wellbeing sector, local government and the real estate industry, as well as residents and visitors offering craft, skin care, china, Tupperware, gift cards, toys and other products.
Village Manager Michael Owens said everyone was delighted with the outcome of the event.
“The success of the day is fully down to the residents and the fantastic community spirit we have here,” he said.
“The community garden has been such a valuable addition to the village.”
The garden was established in March 2017 when residents used a vacant plot of village land to plant and grow a wide selection of fruit and vegetables.
Resident Les Mills in the community garden
It has since flourished, and residents can enjoy the fresh produce for a small, voluntary donation.
Margaret Halliday helped establish the garden with her partner Robert, fellow resident Les Mills and others.
“We have pumpkins, tomatoes, shallots and rosella, plus we have rose gardens and succulents in a dry area,” she said.
“People love the jams, relishes and chutneys made from the produce.
“It’s a social thing, too – everyone is invited to take part.”
Money raised from the day will go straight back into the local community, with funds helping those in need through a range of programs.
Sue Tasker from Angels Community Group said the money will help fund a school lunch project, involving an old caravan being converted to a commercial kitchen.
“There are so many projects we are working on that cost a lot to keep going,” she said.
“We are absolutely honoured Carlyle Gardens chose to donate to us and it’s so lovely they recognised our work as valuable.”
For more information about Carlyle Gardens Retirement Village, click here.