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Astonishing Resilience

Astonishing Resilience

The resilience and positivity of former refugee families in Dunedin has astonished the WellSouth team. In a recent vegetable gardening competition the size and quality of the gardens, and quantity of produce was incredible.

Families built their gardens and greenhouses from scratch often without proper gardening tools and the families found the land and soil quality at their homes was often very poor. Some families found a lot of rubbish buried underneath the top layer of soil and many sections in their yard were steep and difficult to work with. They also had limited financial resources but used their initiative and innovation to build their own gardening equipment by hand orsourced tools and materials second hand from the community.

But the food they produced was amazing, there was a huge variety of fruit, vegetables and herbs produced in each family garden. Some families had more than 30 types of vegetables in their gardens, and the judging team learned a lot about Syrian specific plants! Using seed saving and cyclic production some families produced huge amounts of vegetables. Ghazwan Alashkar, our second place prize winner, produced 200kg of potatoes!

There are some highly skilled gardeners and workers in the community. Get in touch with us at health.promotion@wellsouth.org.nz if you know of any opportunities for families.

WellSouth would like to give a big thanks you to Bunning’s Warehouse Dunedin who helped us to give each family who entered a prize for participating. All the families have been given some gardening materials to make their work easier.

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