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Prolific produce ... Volunteer Donna Halder with a arm full of freshly picked produce from the Tapanui Community Garden. (Background from left) Volunteers Vicky Newman, Ken Wards and Brian Oliver.

Community garden organisers in Tapanui are calling for more support to ensure their green-fingered efforts do not go to waste.

Tapanui Community Garden chairman Brian Oliver said having the gardens up and running over the past three years had been due to the dedication of a handful of people.

“The committee members come and volunteer their time on a Saturday morning from 10am to noon.

“We are here to both sell the produce and try to keep on top of the weeding and lawns.

“At times it feels like a daunting task and we would love to have more volunteers on board.

“We appreciate any time that they can give us,” Mr Oliver said.

But he has been disappointed with the support given, and hoped more West Otago people would get behind the project.

“A lot of time and effort has been given here and we would hate to see it all go to waste.”

The committee would love to see more volunteers on Saturday mornings to help.

Four years ago a dedicated group of Tapanui residents started the community garden.

After looking for a suitable piece of land, Dennis and Chris Hughes, of Blue Mountain Nursery, offered them the paddock on the corner of Cemetery and Summerset roads in Tapanui.

Mr Oliver said they had a lot of organising to do before the site was suitable for planting.

“There used to be houses on the property so there was a lot of clearing to do, fences were needed and we had to build the compost bins.

“It took a good nine months to set it all up.”

Mr Oliver said they did a survey in Tapanui to see what people wanted, and found many were interested in fruit and berries.

“We have planted apples, apricots, peaches, plums and they are all starting to produce now.

“Also berries and blackcurrants are ripe at the moment and need to be picked.”

Every Saturday anyone from the district is welcome to go along and buy fresh vegetables for a gold coin donation.

For more information contact Brian Oliver on 027 553-5533.