City Farm in Perth, Australia
(C) Copyright: City Farmer 1995
There's a 'city farm' in Western Australia in the small city of Perth. Clayton Chipper has e-mailed us about his group's attempt to create a community green space in Perth's "sprawling, low density suburbs built for cars."
"We all wanted to move out of the city and find some greenery. Then we thought, 'Why not bring the greenery to the city?'"
Planetary Action Network set up this garden on a site in East Perth that used to be a scrap metal, battery, and train recycling yard. "It is about 7600 sq. meters in size and has three huge warehouses which have been divided into education areas, artists studios and storage space for all the strange and bizarre things people give us." says Clayton.
"As one would think, with the site's history, our community garden was very contaminated with heavy metals and hydrocarbons (oil), so we removed about 60 cm to 1 meter off the top. Now what's left is white 'gutless' sand that we are helping along with some lovely compost and bentonite clay which should provide us with a nice growing medium."
On another area which includes the courtyard, all the gardens are built on top of solid concrete and surrounded by tires. However because there are no gutters or drains, this does not seem to work too well during the rainy winter months.
The organization runs environmental courses for unemployed people and will soon be setting up an environmental resource centre which will include computers and net access for environmental research and communication.
"We are mainly reliant on volunteers," (volunteer ages range from young kids to retirees and pensioners) says Clayton. "Much is learnt by interacting with such a large range of people.
"We like to say,
we not only grow plants,
we grow people!"
182 Brown St.
Western Australia 6004