Members of Shepparton's African community have created a produce garden at the Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE William Orr Campus.RIAHN SMITH December 7, 2012 2:22pm
Thon Thon has recreated a little patch of his homeland, right here in Shepparton.
With the help of the Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE and members of the local African community, the Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District community development officer has cultivated a plot of land to grow traditional African produce.
The community garden, based at GOTAFE’s William Orr campus, boasts traditional African plants such as rigila and mulukhiya (leafy greens, often used in soups or salads) as well as the more familiar tomatoes, zucchinis and maize.
Mr Thon said the inspiration came from feedback about the lack of access to native goods in the region.
‘‘A lot of people .
‘‘We say, ‘ok, they’re not grown here’ .
‘‘Now, instead of driving to Melbourne all the time it will be easy to come and grow what you want to grow and use it yourself.’’
Mr Thon said about 18 people, across all sections of Shepparton’s African population, were regularly involved in the garden — some of whom will get the chance to complete a Certificate II in Agriculture as part of their contribution.
‘‘We try to do it as part of community activities for those who are not able to work,’’ he said.
‘‘(They can) just come here and try to exhaust themselves and go home happy.
‘‘It’s very good.
‘‘It will give them the opportunity if they want to work in a farm or if they want to .
Mr Thon said it had been a lot of work to get it up and running but he was pleased to see the crops thriving in a new environment — almost as well as they would have in Africa.
‘‘The summer crop — okra and mulukhiya — this weather, that’s what they like.
‘‘They don’t like cold, so at this time of the year it’s just like Africa and they like that.’’
But he did admit that the often chilly mornings in this part of the world have posed a bit of a problem.
‘‘When there is frost and a bit of cold, they change,’’ Mr Thon said.
‘‘But we don’t want to use the (chemical) sprays, we want to treat them traditionally.’’
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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