SAGE was very fortunate to be granted a license by Eurobodalla Shire Council in 2009 to start a community garden on this plot of land in Queen Street Moruya. The land is a short walk from the main street and like most of the floodplain surrounding Moruya it has deep fertile soil.
The SAGE Garden began as a mass of head-high weeds. It’s almost impossible to imagine when looking at the garden today. The planning in those first days included a community run commercial market garden at the core of the site. The western end of the site was set up to show what food could be grown on a typical residential block. The eastern end had individual allotments and a small orchard, A work area and tool shed completed the picture.
With small steps, monthly working bees and a group of hardworking, inspiring leaders, this vision has been brought into reality. The garden today is a showcase of how we can grow food for ourselves and also for profit.
The garden is always changing. For example, since the above photo was taken, a native flowering garden has been planted to attract pollinators, and bee hives have been installed.
We finally reached our ambitious goal of installing an accessible composting toilet on site in 2019 — a vital development to improve everyone’s experience using the garden.
The grant received to fund the composting toilet also provided for paving from the front garden, right throughout “the roof” area and into the backyard, improving the accessibility of the garden even further.
The garden is often used for social events, which are becoming more popular. There is now a commercial sized wood fired pizza oven, stainless steel benching and hot water.
The front garden demonstrates how we can use perennial species (mulberry, olive, fig, pomegranate, hazelnut) to create an attractive and aromatic street-facing garden while still producing food, while the backyard focusses on growing vegetables for the kitchen using waterwise wicking beds.
“The roof” area represents the house on the ‘block’ and is where we hold the theory sessions for workshops, committee meetings, discussion panels such as our “Chew the Fat” event and serves as the dance floor for our social events. It also collects rainwater and solar energy. The garden is completely solar powered.
We’ve come a long way since 2009, but we still have a long way to go.
This sketch captures our vision for the garden and also reveals how much has been achieved to those who have visited the site.
The SAGE Garden is a wonderful venue for informal events. We love to invite the community to experience and see what’s happening at the garden as much as we can.
Events are often held to coincide with a harvest or seasonal event, such as the solstices or equinoxes. In summer, more regular monthly or sometimes weekly social events are held that feature live music or DJs playing funk from their personal vinyl collections.
Almost always, the famous SAGE pizzas, topped with local produce are cooked in our innovative woodfired combination tandoor/pizza oven. The catering team never fail to produce outstanding dishes of all kinds that use local food in the most creative ways.
Increasingly, other organisations are using the SAGE Garden for their own events.Read more