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Green thumb... Mataura Community Garden overseer Barbara Cunningham is keen to attract more volunteers and start the season with a working bee. PHOTO: MARGARET PHILLIPS

The Mataura Community Garden is about to start its season.

Organisers are calling for volunteers to help at a working bee this Saturday at 9am.

New volunteers are welcome.

The garden operates with voluntary labour, and supplies vegetables to Mataura district residents for a gold coin donation.

It also plays an important social function in the community as it provides a gathering place for volunteers and those picking up vegetables.

The new season comes with a change at the top, following stalwart Matthew Lucassen stepping down at the end of last season after nine years at the helm.

Mr Lucassen, a trained horticulturist and former market gardener, was one of the driving forces behind the project.

Overseer Barbara Cunningham has taken up the reins for now, and said there were tasks such as building a fence and hanging a gate to be undertaken.

[they would donate] I’d like to hear from them,” Mrs Cunningham said.

A general clearing of the gardens and ploughing in readiness for planting needed to take place, she said.

Pruning of fruit trees was also needed.

Planning for the season would also be talked about.

“We will need to start planting soon.”

Mrs Cunningham would assign volunteers responsibility for the areas they were interested in.

This year, organisers would buy most of the plants, which was a departure from previous years, when Mr Lucassen raised seedlings.