Tag Archives: Project ReScape

Community Gardens update

UC has two community gardens on campus: Okeover (off Engineering road) and Dovedale. Every few months Jane Aistrope, UC’s community gardens coordinator, provides an update on what’s been happening in the gardens.

In May we had back-to-back pizza parties using our own Okeover pizza oven. We had a lunch to thank the IMG_1725 smUniversity staff who supported Project ReScape, attended by grounds keepers, carpenters and management, who all played an important part in making it happen. We kept the fire burning and held an early dinner for the gardeners to celebrate food, community and the epic and unusual season we have had.

With such a huge make-over in our garden, it’s been quite a feat to have continued growing and harvesting so much food. It was pretty nice to have Okeover Pesto as pizza sauce, using our own basil, hazelnuts and garlic. We also roasted Dovedale Crown Pumpkin to go with chilli, greens and herbs. Sometimes being a community gardener means being spoiled with bounty!

IMG_1712We certainly had a long Autumn in 2016 allowing for late sowings of mesclun, spinach and herbs, and many lovely sunny afternoons out! Unfortunately the  warm days have caused our Brussels Sprouts to blow (loose sprouts which are more like flowers) and some of our lovely leeks have gone to seed early. Now we have garlic shoots just poking through and the broad beans are all up and growing well. We continue to sustain our crops with liquid fertilizers made from worm rum, comfrey and nettles.

Winter in the garden is a good time to reconfigure garden beds, prune fruit trees, sharpen tools, tidy the shed, plan for spring and read gardening books! We’ve already done a lot to finish off mulching the paths but we certainly have more reconfiguring to do in the orchard, starting with a new hugelkultur mound. This, pruning and mulching will occupy us until spring sowing begins.

IMG_1859 We are excited to be hosting another sculpture exhibition at the end of term 3. UC Sculpture students will have the opportunity to create works for outdoor public spaces and consider wider social and political issues around sustainability. Keep an eye out for this exhibition as it really brings another layer of interest and vitality to the garden.

For other information about the community gardens, check here. For information on becoming a volunteer and attending working bees on Monday (2-4) and Friday (1-4), check here. The community gardens also have a dedicated Facebook Page.

This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Connect with us through Facebook or Instagram. Or email us: sustainability@canterbury.ac.nz

Beautiful makeover of UC Community Gardens

The Okeover Garden (off Engineering road), one of UC’s Community Gardens, has been transformed over the last months as part of Project ReScape. If you have not visited recently, it is worth having a look during a sunny lunch break.IMG_1615

The new planter boxes are now showing the beautiful design, which blends the simplicity of straight edges with the unique character of the mandala. Jane Aistrope, UC’s Community Gardener, reports that the newly raised beds, which have  solid edges to rest on, are enjoyed by the gardeners as they do not have to bend down all the time! With lovely rich compost amendments (UC’s own leaf mulch, rotted wood chip and soil), the plants have made good growth and are cropping well. Despite the interruption of the makeover, the gardens increased their vegetable production again in 2015.


2016 will be a year of continuing and finishing this project as we work on the orchard glade, a wheelchair accessible planter box, an outdoor kitchen and re-cladding the tool shed. Come and be part of the action whether you’re new to gardening, have green thumbs or are handy with tools. Friday afternoon working bees (1-4 pm during term time) can be as relaxing or energetic as you choose, but good people and fresh produce are guaranteed.

For other information about the community gardens, check here. The community gardens also have a dedicated Facebook Page. The community gardens are coordinated by the UC Sustainability Office.