Frequently asked questions
1. When will gardening activities begin and how will it work?
We will begin gardening from 30 th October in small groups, following a timetable to comply with Covid-restricted numbers.
Garden teams of 5 -10 will timetabled to work in the garden from 30th October for no more than 2 hours. We will email out the timetable shortly to all those who registered for weekly gardening so you will know your time allocation. Someone from the subcommittee will be there to say hi and introduce you to the space for your first visit. Please garden during your allocated time to limit numbers onsite..
2. Can I have my own garden plot?
No. There will be no private plots in the garden. Railway Garden will be collectively gardened and managed by the garden group, which is easy and inexpensive to join.
3.How can I join?
Join the Railway Garden group on this website, or by visiting the Railway Neighbourhood House for assistance – it’s easy. All regular garden members are also asked to become members of the Railway Neighbourhood House. Railway garden is program of the Neighbourhood House.
4. Are there any fees?
No. This means joining the garden group is an open and accessible activity.
5. To actively garden, do I have to join the garden group?
Yes. All garden members will be asked to a brief orientation to the garden so you know about our organic gardening practices, safety and other information about how the garden is organised and maintained. Plus - you’ll need to know when the kettle is on…
6. Do I need to have my own gardening tools?
*Yes, while COVID restrictions are in place. Please bring gloves, a small trowel, an overshirt or apron to protect your clothes, and shoes with a covered toe. * If you need help with tools, don’t forget to ask someone, there’s often some sweet spares lying in a dark corner of the shed.
7. Who will decide what to plant?
It’s very important that you have a say in what’s planted. We have a volunteer Head Gardener, who is a great resource for us all – they have an overview of the whole garden and its health. If you have a passion for something, let the head gardener know – they love a challenge! During COVID restrictions the first plantings might be more restricted, as available supplies are lower than usual and it’s hard to meet as a group.
8. Will gardeners be able to harvest some of the produce for themselves?
Yes. We encourage our gardeners to donate about half of our harvest to the local community/Railway House and also keep some for your efforts.
9. Is there all abilities access?
Yes. Railway Garden has one large raised garden bed and 6 small raised beds with accessible pathways, plus access to recently refurbished toilet facilities.
10. What is the membership policy? How will any waiting list be managed?
Consistent with the values of the Railway House and agreements with Yarra Council, we will endeavour to reduce barriers to membership and ensure equitable access to the local community.
Weekly garden teams
In October 2019 we advertised across a range of media for people to become garden members. From this initial call, we recruited about 70 gardeners who will be invited to join a weekly garden team. If you were not part of this initial group you can still apply to join a weekly garden team by completing the online form. The number of people participating on weekly teams will be limited for Covid safety reasons.
If we are unable to accommodate your request to be a weekly garden team member at this time, we will put your name on a waiting list. The garden team waiting list will be managed as per our agreement with Council. Under this agreement, we will give preference to Yarra residents, public housing residents, households with no other means for accessing garden space and those on the waiting list who actively participate in the garden.
We will regularly review membership data against the Council criteria, take action to promote diversity in membership and provide a range of garden programs to support equitable access to gardening activities.
Other garden activities
In addition to weekly gardening, there are other ways to be involved, such as joining working bees, classes and workshops – these are all options to stay connected and enjoy the space. Invitations to join these activities will be available on our website as we develop our gardening program.