FOUR Toowoomba mums are planting seeds of hope as they establish a community garden where residents can pick their own fresh fruit and vegetables for free.
Doctor Danielle Carter this week stepped back from her general practice to focus on expanding the Flourish PYO Community Garden they established in March.
“We are a health promotion charity and our aim is to try and improve the health of our community by offering free access to fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs,” Mrs Carter said.
“In our region, a large proportion of health problems are related to dietary choices,” she said.
“We hope by providing fresh fruit and veggies that we will be able to make a difference to chronic disease rates in the future.”
Member for Toowoomba South David Janetzki MP congratulated Mrs Carter and co-founders Anna Morgan, Anni Cramb and Alison Burnett for their initiative and hard work to improve the lives of residents in our community.
“This community garden is encouraging social connection, allowing people to learn more about gardening and nutrition and offering fresh vegetables to the community,” Mr Janetzki said.
“There is nothing better than getting sun on your back and dirt under your fingernails,” he said.
“I hope to see community gardens springing up right across Toowoomba in the years ahead.”
The group established their organisation in 2017 and also provide cooking classes, mentoring and education about healthy eating.
They currently have about 10 garden beds established thanks to donations and scrap materials.
Mrs Carter said their group of volunteers met on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am until noon to tend to the gardens.
“One of our major barriers is finances. In order to extend we need money or donations of garden beds,” Mrs Carter said.
“Our goal is to have a local community garden space in every suburb of Toowoomba – particularly in areas of greatest need,” she said.
Residents can visit the Flourish PYO Community Garden at 100 Glenvale Road (behind the Toowoomba Community Baptist Church) any day of the week to pick their own fruit and vegetables.
If anyone is interested in volunteering or donating to Flourish, contact Danielle Carter on 0459 622 775.
Volunteer registration forms, donation forms and details of their next round of cooking classes can also be found on their website www.flourishpyo.org.au.