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A group of TAFE NSW permaculture students has established a successful community garden in Sydney's northern beaches that has become a haven for locals.
The enterprising students managed to lease the plot of land two years ago from the then Manly Council. With the help of a state government grant, they set about transforming the plot into an urban farm that could bring locals together.
"In the past this area of North Seaforth was actually a dairy farm, so we thought it would be really nice to bring some kind of urban farming back to the area," Co-president Louise Williams told the Manly Daily.
Ms Williams adds that "in the process something amazing, almost magical happened". To the group's amazement and delight, the garden began drawing more and more interested locals who were not only keen to get involved in the project, but began forming strong personal friendships and connections with each other.
"We met people we could have never otherwise met," she said. "Nowadays there are no strangers around here, virtually everyone knows each other."
The Seaforth plot, named Baringa Bush Community Garden, now also has a working beehive and a worm farm. Every week, dedicated parents, children and other locals come to get their hands dirty at the garden and share some community camaraderie in the process.