Friendship burrows its way to VegOut Community Garden

August 1st, 2009 jen Posted in Friends of Suai News, VegOut Community Gardens Donate 3 Comments »

VegOut donated $2,000 to a Permaculture Garden in Suai and St Kilda Artist Liz Milsom (daughter of George Milsom) and I recently took Suai Loro and Arte Moris artists Anata and Kiki there. Anata spent the whole time video taping - if you could see Arte Moris the Free Art School in Dili you would see why. Arte Moris also have vegetable gardens, compost heaps and sculptures built from recycled bits and pieces. The boys were homesick and this was like a home away from home. VegOut is the community garden in St Kilda established on the St Kilda Bowling club grounds. When the Bowling Club closed down a group of artists established their studios there and the lawns were converted to organic garden plots for members of the community to work. St Kilda residents predominantly live in flats, so to have access to a garden is highly desired by some of the residents. In more recent years the group invited local/regional Produce growers to establish a Producer's market next to the gardens on the first Saturday of every month. It has grown into a very popular event for locals. We took Anata and Kiki along because it's a great atmosphere, but also because VegOut sell Timorese coffee there for the Friends of Suai and Timorese Melbourne residents have a preserved chilli chutney stall there. After nine years the friendship really is beginning to burrow its way into the community when this is happening.
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Permaculture Project for Suai

August 1st, 2009 jen Posted in Permaculture Project Comments Off on Permaculture Project for Suai

Permaculture Project Suai Agriculture High School -Akar Laran

The Akar Laran Agriculture High School was very pleased to receive a donation of $2000 from Veg Out Community Garden in St Kilda Australia. The funds are being used to establish a practical garden for year 10 students at the Agricultural High School. Resources especially tools and and seed is scarce and the project has enabled the students to actually turn the soil and plant some produce. The students have planted and are harvesting long beans in the garden. Additional seeds for the project will also be planted in the growing season - September 2008 to grow a variety of vegetables.
The Agriculture School was destroyed by the Indonesian militia in 1999 and in recent years reopened a small section of the school to provide opportunties for education in agriculture at the secondary level. Agriculture is 80% of E Timor economy. Students are keen to learn practical skills and this small donation has meant that seeds and tools have been provided in cooperation with the Suai community centre who are supporting and monitoring the project. The school community has also had the benefit of harvesting the beans crop which has supplemented meals as food is still scarce in Suai and E Timor generally.
Permaculture is new to Suai and Friends of Suai provided some books written in local language - Tetun by the E Timor group Permatil for the school community to study. Sebastian a young man from Daylesford working in permaculture also visited the school in June 2008 to share some additional insight into the permaculture techiques.
Friends of Suai will be providing 2 scholarships to one girl and one boy who achieve well in their final year course with a tertiary scholarship to university.
Watch this space for development of future crops in the garden.
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