Turning the sod at the VASS Food Forest

Andrew, Kristy and Cathy turn the sod at VASS

We shovelled the very first sod of soil at the soon to be VASS Food Forest on Monday, a project that will be a beautiful oasis to enhance the health and wellbeing of residents at VASS in Melbourne’s inner northern suburb of Thornbury.

Construction officially began on the long-awaited project on Tuesday 17 January.

A partnership between Yooralla and Global Gardens of Peace (GGoP), this philanthropically funded project presents a refreshing change of environment for VASS residents that will balance their hours spent indoors, as they depend on life support equipment, such as mechanical ventilators for breathing and wheelchairs for mobility.

On Monday, the sun was shining as attendees enjoyed the turning of the sod ceremony, where Uncle Shane Charles delivered a beautifully significant Welcome to Country, and an immersive smoking ceremony and didgeridoo performance. We heard from Yooralla CEO Terry Symonds, Sue, the wife of Gerard – the visionary of the Food Forest project, VASS resident Cathy and GGoP President and renowned Landscape Architect, Andrew Laidlaw, before Cathy and Andrew turned the first sod of soil for what will soon become the VASS Food Forest.

VASS residents actively participated in the development of the concept, through a series of co-design workshops led by Andrew Laidlaw, with VASS residents and staff contributing ideas on flowers, herbs and vegetables that can be grown. Raised garden beds, vertical plants and espaliered fruit trees fill the planned oasis, which will also feature weatherproof seating areas, water features and communal cooking facilities for residents, and those who are on temporary short-term accommodation (respite) stays.

Keep an eye on our social media channels to keep up to date on this project.

Turning the sod at VASS Food Forest

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