Walgett Community Market Garden – providing health benefits for the whole community
More info about NACCHO member Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service
This story is part of this month’s community profile featuring the Walgett community and their work to Close the Gap in Indigenous disadvantage.
The thriving Walgett Community Market Garden, overflowing with vegetables, is providing health benefits to the local Walgett community.
The garden was set up three years ago, and is a joint venture between the Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service and the Australian Government funded Murdi Paaki Regional Enterprise Corporation.
The success of the community garden is largely due to the dedication and hard work of head gardener, Sophia Byers, and her enthusiastic team.
Sophia said the community garden was making a positive difference to the whole community.
“The garden is pretty much benefiting everybody. Not only the people with chronic illnesses, but we are also teaching the local women’s group to make mashed potato and incorporate different vegies so the kids get used to it,” Sophia said.
“We mix the vegetables in with salads and all different sorts of foods, especially mashed potato.
“The community is all involved and it is helping them to learn about healthy foods,” Sophia said.
Sophia delivers fresh produce from the market garden to some of the community elders, while others stop by and collect their vegetables straight from the garden.
“What I have been doing with the vegies is distributing them out to the elders. There are a few of them on the reserves that are on dialysis machines and so I try to get out there every Friday and take them some vegies,” Sophia said.
“For others the garden is close by and they can just walk in off the streets to get their vegies.
“I have been looking for a job like this all my life, so it’s pretty good,” Sophia said.