Port Macquarie’s Veggie Patch

by Holly Threlfo, Port Macquarie Sustainability Advisor

It has been an exciting start to the year for the Port Macquarie Campus.

With the tremendous growth of students on campus this year, there has been a push to ensure we are all undertaking sustainable practices whilst living in residence. 

The Veggie Patch

The main objective was getting a ‘Veggie Garden’ up and running for cooking purposes for the students on campus.

As Port Macquarie is a self-sufficient residence, many students have taken on the challenge of cooking and grocery shopping for the first time in their lives.

The ‘Veggie Garden’ is conveniently located near the Barbecue to be used for group dinners and is a short walk from the dormitories for easy student access.

The perks

Over the past few weeks, we have seen the lettuce, parsley, spinach and snow pea shoots flourish. The idea behind these particular vegetables and herbs was easy maintenance, year-long growth for some and versatility.

Growing your own vegetables is also a helpful solution when budgeting and reduces plastic usage, diverting landfill.

Over time, as the ‘Veggie Garden’ becomes a common tool for all, food scraps can be in the garden, further reducing our waste.

What’s next?

We have also been granted with the opportunity to build a Germplasm. This great initiative will help build shade houses and a native plant nursery on campus. Indigenous groups have been extensively consulted before initial plantings commence.

Many Charles Sturt students, local community members and others have volunteered their time to conduct Stage I of the Germplasm. Stage II will be conducted on May 21.

Once completed, the garden collection will be open to members of the public for propagation and care of the native plants.

Educational courses will also be conducted over the coming years to provide information for the community who wish to partake in the upkeep of this establishment.

We look forward to seeing how the Veggie Garden and Germplasm progress in the upcoming months.