This year, the Campbell Page CDP team on Palm Island have been working together to fund the construction of BioWicked garden beds. The garden beds have been located across the community, including at ‘Chook city’, Ferdy’s Haven Rehabilitation Aboriginal Corporation, the Palm Island Children and Family Centre and SOLAS to encourage community engagement.

The largest installations to date have been at the Palm Island Children and Family Centre and Ferdy’s Haven Rehabilitation Aboriginal Corporation. These community sites installed four garden beds consisting of a ‘veggie bed’ with seating and trellising and a built-in worm farm attached to a ‘herb cube’ and a ‘fruit box’. There is also a deeper stand-alone ‘banana box’.

The veggie bed has a large built-in worm farm that recycles food waste and produces nutritious organic food in a climate-friendly manner. The system is being used for community engagement and teaching children both and composting and home food growing.

BioWicked Garden Beds on Palm Island's SOLAS site

The purpose of this activity has been increase local community engagement and involvement in growing fresh fruit and vegetables in their gardens at home. Plans are in place to see 100 garden beds built and planted throughout the next 12 months. It is hoped that these garden beds will benefit the community in regards to employment rates, environmental sustainability and Palm Island residents having access to fresh fruit and vegetables all year round.
Purposefully, the garden beds have been placed in highly visible areas to stimulate community engagement and interest.

Our Work for the Dole participants have enjoyed the opportunity to learn about the process involved in building a sustainable garden. – Samara Hanley, Operations Manager CDP

Currently, the participation rate on this project sits at 25 participants per team, with an 80% attendance rate. This is a huge improvement from previous attendance rates when the project first started, which were at approximately 54%.

Campbell Page is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to transforming lives. If you would like to find out more about Campbell Page or the work we do on Palm Island with our Community Development Program, please visit our About us page, Community page, or alternatively, contact us directly.

Words: Tiarne Pattison