Something special is growing at the Sebastopol Library

Generic image of people in front of community garden

Tracie Fairchild Sebastopol Library, City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Des Hudson, Lou Ridsdale Food is Free, Kate Ross VicHealth, Juliana Addison Member for Wendouree, Julie Stevens Sebastopol Library

On the rear deck of the Sebastopol Library, a community garden is sprouting to life and providing vital skills and knowledge, as well as building community cohesion.

The Sebastopol Library Small Spaces Community Garden project was officially opened on Friday, with Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison and City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Des Hudson touring the facility.

The project was funded with $34,900 from the State Government’s ‘Jumpstart! Round 2 Program’ and delivered by the City of Ballarat.

The funding enabled:

  • The installation of raised planter boxes and establish small spaces gardens.  
  • The installation of a small outdoor kitchen, to deliver cooking workshops with community partners.
  • Workshops to facilitate small spaces gardening and seed saving during school terms, with a focus on children and young people.
  • The establishment of a seed library alongside the garden, so that the community can continue with their gardening activities at home.

The Sebastopol Library project is one of 180 VicHealth Jumpstart! projects across the state, which aim to provide more opportunities for Victoria’s children and young people through sport, active play, art and food.

The City of Ballarat has been partnering with community groups, such as Food Is Free, and hosting cooking masterclasses with the likes of chef Tim Bone to teach useful and transferable skills that can assist with ongoing health and nutrition.

In total, more than 230 people have participated in programs including planting days, school holiday programs, and cooking activities.

Now fully established, the programs and garden will be supported by the City of Ballarat into the future.

City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Des Hudson said the project would prove a vital community asset.

“At a time when cost of living pressure is high for families, there is a lot to be gained from educating people about gardening and growing your own food,” he said.

“We often say that libraries are about so much more than just reading books and projects like this reinforce that. Libraries are great social hubs and broader learning environments that go far beyond sitting down and quietly reading.”

Member for Wendouree, Juliana Addison MP said the new space would certainly be an asset to the community.

“Creating opportunities for our community to become skilled up in gardening creates not only social cohesion, but a deeper understanding of where our food comes from,” she said.

“The Small Spaces Community Garden Project is about promoting learning, developing knowledge and encouraging participation.”