For a gardener, the year started out very nicely, the tomato crop had been plentiful; the pumpkins were just starting to ripen. It was all steam ahead for the Knox Community Gardens. This was going to be a big year. Unfortunately, everything came to a massive halt when Covid-19 arrived on our shores, uninvited and unwelcome.
As president of the Knox Community Gardens and a local nurse, it was evident to me the situation would deteriorate very quickly. Membership safety became paramount. A decision was made very quickly after consulting with Council. The gates to the gardens were closed to the public. Next, procedures for keeping membership abreast of restrictions and for best practice hygiene were swiftly implemented.
Members were grateful to the committee for ensuring the gardens remained available to them in accordance with two of the rules about going out: food and exercise. The sanctuary of the gardens became a place for members to enjoy a safe environment for growing food, being outdoors and exercising. They told us how important the gardens became for their mental health and wellbeing during this very difficult time.
This only confirms what we often hear: the Knox Community Gardens are so much more than just a place to grow veggies. They are a place of belonging, fostering amazing support and lifelong friendships. The solace of the gardens and the surrounding natural environment are unquestionably a vital community resource and an absolute paradise in Knox.
The gardens continue to be closed to the public at time of publication. Stay tuned to our Facebook page or website for news of reopening.
President, Knox Community Gardens