The Waite Community Garden was officially opened on a perfect Spring day yesterday by celebrity gardener Sophie Thomson, with a big crowd of staff, students and kids from the Campus child care centre in attendance to celebrate the occasion. Sophie provided some inspiration on the health and wellbeing benefits of gardening, noting the huge increase in interest in community gardens over the last 10 years, and congratulated everyone involved in the project.

With a $15,000 grant from the University’s Ecoversity program, the School of Agriculture, Food & Wine has set up the new Waite Community Garden together with CSIRO. Ryan Farquharson, a senior scientist at CSIRO Agriculture and a number of his colleagues previously ran their own vegetable garden but joined forces with Stuart Matthews and the School team to re-site and enlarge the garden for common use and enjoyment. A community garden has long been an idea enjoying wide support and is very much in keeping with both the agricultural focus and the co-location of several complementary organisations on the Waite Campus, but it has taken persistence and effort by a number of people to bring it to reality.

Yesterday’s launch was a feel-good event with much community and family spirit in evidence. The Waite Community Garden is located between McLeod House and Urrbrae House and is open to everyone interested in getting their hands in the dirt and learning more about growing their own food. For more information about how to join in, visit the Facebook page at



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