Last weekend I had the pleasure of being invited to speak at the Maryborough Community Garden Open Day. I gave a long and rambling but informative talk to an engaged audience, touching on permaculture principles, edible flowers and weeds, perennial vegetables and of course tomatoes! I brought along some tasting samples of some of my favourite long lasting and perennial vegetables, including red dock, lemon sorrel and land cress, as well as a big jar of five coloured chard seeds to share.

Karen Sutherland free garden talk at Maryborough community garden

For more tomato growing hints and facts check out.‘Tomato Know; Sow; Grow; Feast’

There was lots of interesting ideas in question time including this one from Sandra McHarg about creating more space for growing tomatoes in recycled cardboard boxes! Sandra advises to let each box support the next box, by sitting them close together. Make sure to experiment with different cardboard thicknesses to ensure boxes last until the end of the season.

The Lions club volunteers were persuaded to cook corn and zucchini, instead of snags, and did a great job. There was a range of other delicious homemade food much of it made with produce from the garden.

Maryborough Lions Club community BBQ

Despite cold and cloudy weather, the day was well attended by friendly crowd of locals, people from neighboring communities, as well as people travelling from Melbourne. All enjoyed the gardening workshops and electric battery tools demonstration.

GELC open day crowd

The creative volunteers have made a children’s colouring page from a photo of the produce at the neighourhood house.

Margaret Parsons of the Maryborough Community Garden writes about the garden and street harvest program

“Both the Garden and Street Harvest were started with some funding from a Healthy Together initiative project so they are closely linked. It has a Facebook presence under Street Harvest Maryborough

Welcome Blackboard Maryborough Community Garden
Street harvest Maryborough jar of pickled vegetables

Information re Street Harvest

Street Harvest Maryborough is about saving food in our community that would otherwise go to waste. This food can be shared with people who want it and need it. We also encourage people to grow their own food and share any excess.

The Street Harvest has been going for more than 6 years. We hold a street stall on the second Thursday of the month where people can bring and swap fresh fruit and vegetables and take preserves that have been made from donated produce. It is outside the resource centre.

On the Monday before the second Thursday a group of volunteers meet in the town hall kitchen to convert donated produce into yummy, not always nutritious, preserves using recipes sourced from family traditions, cookbooks and the internet.

Pot of strawberries with painted strawberry artwork

Cash donations from the street stall enable us to purchase the extra ingredients for the preserves as well as buy seeds and seedlings for the Maryborough Community Garden.


As fruit and vegetables ripen all the time we have a trolley inside the resource centre where fruit and vegetables can be left at any time for anyone to take.

The Street Harvest project is completely run by volunteers. We need volunteers to cook the preserves, set up the street stall and keep the trolley clean. Sometimes we are asked to pick the fruit from trees so we need volunteers willing to do this. A great thing to follow on from this would be to be able to offer a pruning service. “

Thank you Maryborough open day take a free seedling

It was a pleasure to be invited to this community garden open day.