THE City of Whittlesea is offering to help set up new community gardens for those with a green thumb or a keen interest in growing fresh food, supporting the community and encouraging people to reconnect.

The community gardens projects is a 10-week training program that will provide participants with the skills and knowledge to create and maintain thriving community garden.

Chair administrator Lydia Wilson said community gardens provided an important and inclusive space for people to connect with multiple benefits.

“We’ve seen how important it is for our community to stay connected and find ways to support each other, particularly over the past few years,” she said.

“As a keen gardener myself, I know how rewarding it is to get out into the garden, and when you can use what you grow to feed the family it is even better.”

The program is being delivered by Cultivating Community, a non-profit social enterprise.

It will cover topics including how to set up a new community garden, how to obtain resources and write grant applications, how to set up good management structures and how to use social media to support the group.

Participants will also be able to apply for seed funding for a small garden infrastructure project as well as funding for a celebratory event with the community.

“Establishing a community garden from scratch may seem quite daunting … even to us green thumbs,” Ms Wilson said.

“That’s why we’ve developed this comprehensive program to provide support and help guide you through the set up.”

The program, from April to June 2022, is a pandemic recovery initiative as part of the City of Whittlesea Community Plan 2021-2025.

Applications close on March 23. To apply, click here.