Skip to content

TSRA brings backyard garden workshops to the Boigu Community

The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) Environmental Management team is bringing the Boigu community’s backyards back to life with its new sustainable gardening workshops.

The aim of the workshops is to educate the community on the benefits of developing a sustainable backyard garden for their health and well-being as well as the local environment.

TSRA Sustainable Horticulture Officer, Mr George Saveka recently conducted the two-and-a-half day gardening workshops for the Boigu community with the assistance of the TSRA Boigu Rangers and members of the local My Pathway program.

TSRA Chairperson, Mr Napau Pedro Stephen AM, said that through the Environmental Management team’s workshops, Boigu’s home gardeners are learning to raise a variety of different crops for their own use.

“Like other communities in the Torres Strait, on Boigu they would prefer to garden at home where it can be easily reached and maintained,” Mr Stephen said.

“There have been discussions about the re-development of Boigu Community Garden, but it is located in the wetland which is sometimes difficult for the community to reach.

“The TSRA Environmental Management program believes that educating the community on sustainable backyard gardens is of great benefit because they are more readily maintainable.

“The other key benefit is that the produce can be harvested and delivered straight to your kitchen as you need it.

“The workshops are also helping them to gain a better understanding about the use of potting mixes and fertilisers that can be added into their garden for great results and better techniques.”

TSRA Sustainable Horticulture Officer, Mr George Saveka said that the workshops combine new gardening techniques with local knowledge to identify the most sustainable results for the Boigu community.

“The idea is to bring the Boigu community members together to share in their love of gardening and for us to work together to help others,” Mr Saveka said.

“We also use this opportunity to introduce new and older, trusted-techniques that will help the locals to build sustainable home gardens, which will benefit both the community and the environment.

“As an example, we know that cassava is the most common plant grown on Boigu, but it can also be detrimental to the soil.

“If you plant cassava repeatedly in the same spot without fertilising your soil and without regular gardening practices, you will not get a consistent crop harvest,” Mr Saveka said.

“We know that local knowledge is best for the gardening seasons here, but further knowledge about planting and crop rotation is required.

“Popular food crops for planting are tomatoes, pumpkin, potatoes, herbs and salad crops, but not everyone can grow these crops because of the tides that come in and can adversely affect your crops or even inundate your garden depending on the season.

“So, we use these workshops to share ideas with the community and look for the best alternatives.”

Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal people are advised this website may contain names, images and recordings of people who have passed.