Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 73.80
Liaison Corey Peterson
Submission Date June 2, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Tasmania
IN-7: Community Garden

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Sustainability Team
UTAS
Infrastructure Services and Development
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

A brief description of the institution’s community garden:

City Apartments Community Garden: The shared student-public plaza at the City Apartments in the Hobart CBD features 15 raised 'wicking’ style planters containing a variety of herbs, vegetables, berries and indigenous foodplants. In addition, in-ground garden beds support an edible hedge with alternating varieties of citrus as well as rosemary and lavender. Nearby, six worm farms turn food scraps into fertiliser for the gardens. Students and community members together participate in working bees focusing on wicking bed construction, planting, and harvesting activities as a way to bring the university and broader communities together.

Centenary Building Courtyard: Standing in the heart of the UTAS campus at Sandy Bay, the Centenary Building contains a large, semi-enclosed, paved courtyard. A recent project involved students and staff constructing 12 ‘wicking’ style planter boxes, all of which were planted with advanced fruit trees: six olive trees and six kumquats. Mediterranean herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano etc) spill over the edges of the planters, which have transformed a bland and unfriendly space into an inviting food plant oasis.

Paddy’s Patch Community Garden: Situated at Sandy Bay, and surrounded by student accommodation buildings, Paddy’s Patch is named in honour of former UTAS staff member Patrick Barbour, a passionate gardener who planted more than 20 pome, stone and citrus trees on the sloping site. In addition, in-ground beds allow for the year-round growing a wide range of vegetables. A recent expansion of the garden features eight raised beds constructed from organically treated plantation timber, which students have planted mostly with brassicas (cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, etc.). A ‘hot compost’ heap ensures that waste vegetative matter is transformed into a fertile, organic soil improver.

Inveresk Community Garden: The flagship UTAS community garden project is the vast community garden situated at the entrance to the brand new campus at Inveresk in Launceston. With more than 30 large raised beds, the garden could almost be considered an urban farm. Once fully operational, it will produce tonnes of fruit and vegetables annually, nearly all of which will be consumed within 500m of where it was produced, thus greatly reducing the ‘food miles’ required to feed the students living in nearby residential colleges. An in-vessel composting machine receives up to 75kg of food scraps, garden waste and office waste per day, averting methane-emitting materials from landfill and turning them into rich organic compost for use in the garden.

Tamar Lane Community Garden: Through the dedication and hard work of Gardening Society students, the once-neglected garden on Tamar Lane in Newnham has been transformed into one of the most productive community gardens at UTAS. In summer, nearly 30 varieties of vegetables, herbs, fruit and edible flowers (borage, nasturtiums, calendulas and sunflowers) are grown, with winter cropping consisting primarily of brassicas and leafy greens. Produce is shared amongst Gardening Society members and with other students on campus, with excess provided to a campus café in exchange for free meals.

50 Trees Heritage Orchard: Situated in front of the historic Newnham Hall (c1832), 50 Trees Heritage Orchard contains a range of rare and heritage varieties of apples, pears and stone fruits. A recent Sustainability Integration for Students (SIPS) project focused on the orchard, with the aim of helping UTAS increase the orchard’s capacity to produce fruit for students and staff on the Newnham campus to share. Workshops on pruning are held annually and students help harvest and distribute fruit.

Field Building Courtyard: The recently constructed Field Building holds pride of place on the UTAS campus at West Park in Burnie. The building’s large internal courtyard contains a number of ground-level planting areas, and in a project recently conducted in partnership with the local Aboriginal community, eight advanced Banksia trees were planted in these beds. As these mature, and following the cultural practices of Tasmanian Aboriginals, the flowers will be harvested and the nectar used to make a sweet drink.

IMAS Community Garden: The UTAS Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies has a well-established community garden on its campus at Taroona in Hobart. This garden is unique in that it consists of three different areas, each of which is managed differently. The first area is a fruit and herb garden in a public space in front of the campus. This contains bay and olive trees, as well as Mediterranean herbs, with wider community freely able to access and harvest this produce. The second area is an internal courtyard managed by staff, with produce shared amongst themselves. The third area is a series of raised beds, each of which are allocated to a particular staff member for their private use. Another key feature of the garden is the use of fish waste – produced as part of the institute’s scientific research – as fertiliser.

Source Community Garden: The most well established and sustainable food garden at UTAS is the aptly named Source. Situated on a sloping site on the Sandy Bay campus, Source contains a café and eco education centre, as well as a large, productive garden. A committed group of volunteers meet weekly to tend the garden and eat together, resulting in a vibrant community and an abundant supply of fresh produce. Regular events are held, with pizzas cooked in a wood-fired oven and music performed on a small timber stage.

Campus ‘Foodscaping’: Throughout UTAS, Tasmanian native foodplants are incorporated into general campus landscaping, as a practical way of producing food as well as increasing knowledge about Tasmanian Aboriginal culture. One example is the Carpobrostus rossii, commonly known as Pigface. In the wild this groundcover succulent is found mostly in coastal areas, but it grows abundantly is almost any situation and is found on UTAS campuses throughout Tasmania. The plant’s fruit is easily harvested and tastes like salty fig or kiwifruit.


Website URL where information about the community garden is available:
Estimated number of individuals that use the institution’s community garden annually:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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