By DENNIS CRISPIN*
IN April this year, seven people (including five Community Blitz participants) from the Brighton municipality started a program called Gardening Skills for Work and Life. The program was funded by the LINC Tasmania Literacy Skills Development Program and supported by Bridgewater LINC literacy co-ordinator. This was an entry level course into the horticultural industry and covered topics like reading a plan, using measurements, choosing tools and materials, building a garden, read and follow safety procedures and many more. A significant part of this program was the first three units towards the Certificate I in Horticulture with Global Net Academy. Once they finished the program in June, a number of the trainees were keen to complete the remaining units of the certificate course so they would have the full Certificate I.
Community Blitz is funded by the Federal Government through Primary Health Tasmania and with this funding we were able to engage Global Net Academy to offer the remainder of the units to the group which now comprised two community members and two Community Blitz participants. Vinnie’s Growth Centre kindly offered its wonderful facilities for this second lot of training. The Growth Centre proved to be an ideal training facility with poly tunnels, garden beds, an orchard, a classroom and dedicated staff.
The four people, Glenn, Luke, Anya and Tim graduated in August and they are now the proud holders of a Certificate I in Horticulture. They all enjoyed the course, had lots of fun and gained a whole new set of skills. Anya said she “really enjoyed learning about soils and plant biology” while Tim “enjoyed learning about propagation, seed raising, plants and fertilisers”. Anya is not sure that she would pursue a career in horticulture, but the course ‘was the stepping stone to give me confidence to start gardening’. In fact Anya has started preparing her own veggie garden ready for Spring sowing. Glenn felt the course “has given me another avenue to employment in the agriculture sector”. Glenn also said “growing vegetables is easy with the right tools and information”.
If you would like more information about growing vegetables and have a chance to win a garden bed, soil and a few tools come along to the Spring Food Festival on Sunday October 18 from 10.30am-2.30pm at the Gagebrook Community Centre, 191 Lamprill Circle. It should be a fabulous day.
Find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/CommunityBlitz and our website www.communityblitz.org.au
*Dennis Crispin is Community Blitz project manager