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Reflecting on the year that was

As we embark on an ambitious journey through 2023, I'm reminded to take some time to reflect on the achievements and successes of 2022. The year that was showed us that we can achieve amazing things when we work together as a collective community.

When we signed our lease with the City of Onkaparinga in June 2022, the race was on to create a space where people could grow their own food in time for the spring season. I'm proud of how far we've come and am astounded when I remember that only 6 months ago our garden was an empty paddock. Today, when we look on our patch, we see a fruit and nut orchard, 38 raised garden beds which are productive and flourishing, nearly 100 meters of fencing (in progress) and a world of possibilities ahead.

Almost every time I visit the garden I speak to community members who are inspired by what they see, people who have a deep passion and investment in what we are doing. People who have amazing ideas, experience and enthusiasm to make our community a great place to live. It is the people that are key to the success of our community garden. I have seen acts of generosity, altruism and kindness. In a world that is full of darkness and uncertainty, you are a beacon of light and hope for the future.

The past year hasn't been all sweetness and light, we have learned some tough lessons and I am certain we have many more to learn. The work we have done has been hard, and I want to recognise the efforts and sacrifices made by our committee members in particular. As community volunteers we give our free time to the planning and management of the garden. Not all the work done is as visible as the practical 'on the ground' work, much effort has gone into managing administration, grant writing, minute taking and communications. Thank you to committee members Debbie, Kaarin, Lisa, Tony, Tyler and Wayne, and to our IT consultant Owen for all of the hard work and effort you have put in and continue to put in as we move forward.

The year ahead sees more work in store for us. We have a lot done, but have a lot more still to do. We will continue to finish our fence as well as building our sheds and seating areas. Soon we will release our strategy for 2023, which includes 3 major projects: Urban Biodiversity Project 2023, Community Market Garden, and Native Edible Garden. We will be seeking expressions of interest from the public to help us with planning, executing and managing these projects. Keep an eye on your inbox in the coming weeks for more information about this.

Go raibh míle maith agat agus slán go fóill (Thanks a million and bye for now)

Your Chairperson,

Rory Fitzsimons

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