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Phillip Island Community Orchard, Wimbledon Heights

Using recycled water to grow a bountiful harvest including heirloom fruits

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Veggies 🥦   Berries 🍓   Fruits 🍋   Nuts 🌰   Bees 🐝

Meet the gardeners and their garden

Phillip Island Community Orchard (PICO) is the result of a collaborative partnership with the local community growing food on land owned by Westernport Water. It demonstrates the benefits and safety of using recycled water to grow healthy food. Over 100 species of fruit trees have been planted yielding huge harvests each year. There are also about 30 individual vegetable plots.

How does your garden grow?

Our bees must be very happy given the volume and variety of fruit and nut trees in our orchard! A selection of our many species includes pomegranates, loquats, peaches, feijoas, limes, quince, kiwi, apricots, cherries, Chilean guava, apples, pears, mandarin, macadamias, avocados, hazelnuts and sapote. We have planted our fruit trees in curved beds, with dense underplanting of flowering plants and herbs to encourage pollination. We are lucky to have some gardeners who are very skillful at pruning.


What are some of your gardening challenges?

As our garden is bordered by parklands on two sides, we have quite a few wildlife visitors. Although wallabies and possums can cause considerable damage, we have not fenced off the orchard. We adhere to the ‘fair share’ principle of permaculture, meaning that birds and other wildlife get to share in some of the food grown here. The fruit trees and vegetable plots are netted in growing seasons. Having many dwarf fruit trees makes the task of netting and pruning somewhat easier.


Be inspired and learn!

The gardeners say: Apart from producing tasty fruits for eating and preserving, our fruit tree provide natural aromatherapy for free! When they are flowering, the scented blossom from the orange trees is deliciously aromatic. Our gardeners can always take a break and have some freshly brewed tea from our lemon balm, camomile or lemon myrtle leaves!

Garden extras

Ask the gardeners for advice on pruning fruit trees. Monthly working bee and lunch, 4th Saturday of the month, new members welcome. A flow hive expert will offer demonstrations on the morning of Sunday 5 February.

Address

Corner Hoad Street and Hallway Drive, Wimbledon Heights

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