2 November 2020

Volunteers keep the SAGE heart beating

| Alex Rea
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Produce for sale at SAGE Farmers Market.

Selling produce at the SAGE Farmers Market in Moruya. Photo: Alex Rea.

Sustainable Agriculture and Garden Eurobodalla (SAGE) is shouting out for volunteers to come and join the group.

Volunteers make it possible for SAGE to achieve its mission to create and support a NSW South Coast sustainable fair food economy and food sovereignty for local communities.

SAGE began 10 years ago and now runs several programs, including the popular SAGE Farmers Market in Moruya every Tuesday afternoon.

The group is currently seeking more volunteers to join the SAGE Community Food Program and the SAGE Garden Site Maintenance groups.

One of the opportunities to volunteer is a few hours on Wednesday with the Community Food Program, which donates fresh produce to local welfare groups such as the Moruya Women’s Refuge, Moruya Youth Refuge, and people in need through the local Anglicare office, plus several other organisations.

Vegetable garden at Red Door Hall.

Some of the established vegetable garden beds at the Red Door Hall in Moruya. Photo: Alex Rea.

Produce is grown in raised beds at the SAGE Garden in Moruya, which volunteers maintain, plant and water, then pick and deliver the produce.

When the program started there were many volunteers, but in recent times the group has dwindled to only two regulars, which is not enough to keep up the growing and deliveries. Sadly, welfare groups have received very few deliveries from SAGE this year.

Alda Rudzis coordinates the food program and she is hoping to start a weekly Wednesday morning group to water and maintain the garden beds so the program can once again regularly supply fresh food to people in need.

The group will meet every Wednesday at 9 am for approximately one-and-a-half hours at the SAGE Garden. The first meeting will be on 4 November to build on the recent great work of the Sunday working bee volunteers to weed, plant and mulch the garden beds.

“2019-2020 has been difficult for many people in our district,” says Alda. “A small, regular contribution of only a few hours of your time would mean a lot to many people.”

Volunteers are welcome to just turn up on Wednesday morning at 9 am at the SAGE Garden, located at Queen Street in Moruya. If you can help or would like more information, contact Alda by email or phone 0403 314 998.

Sign at SAGE Garden in Moruya.

The SAGE Garden in Moruya. Photo: Alex Rea.

Another opportunity is to volunteer a few hours once a month – or less – mowing lawns at the SAGE Garden.

The mowing team has said farewell to a few volunteers during the past year which has increased the load on the remaining members of the maintenance crew.

Currently, five volunteers mow on a weekly roster during spring and summer, and each person is only rostered on about one to two hours every fifth week. Line-trimming is also needed regularly.

During the colder months, mowing is fortnightly so commitment to it is less frequent.

SAGE has a ride-on lawn mower and training in its use is provided.

Adrian Cram coordinates SAGE Gardens site maintenance and would love to add a few new faces to the crew. He is also sending out a thank you shoutout to the current dedicated crew which has been manicuring the SAGE grounds for many years.

“It’s the collective group of members working behind the scenes that makes SAGE strong,” he says.

If you can help or would like more information, contact Adrian by email or phone 0425 712 298.

Remember: volunteering is good for you and good for our community!

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