I recently spoke to the Torquay Gardening Club. I’ve been there once before, and once again I learnt far more than I could teach. It got me thinking about the wealth of gardening knowledge there is in our own backyard.
For a bit of fun I asked how much gardening experience each member had and the answer astonished me. Of the people in attendance that night there was about 600 years of experience. At a usual meeting that’s not on a public holiday, there’s over 1200 years of experience.
The group started in 1978 and with such vast localised knowledge available in one room, I had to ask - what does access to all this information cost? Surely it would be a fee-for-service, they could make an absolute killing!
As it turns out they were simply happy to have me there, they answered all of my questions and then feed me. Brilliant.
This is called a ‘community group’, an interesting concept that’s been growing on me the last few years. As it turns out these people aren’t particularly interested in making money for the group, they’re interested in high quality social interactions, getting to know each other over a cuppa and a common interest as well as sharing their experiences, collaborating on problems and taking pride in the food they’ve grown and cooked.
A little research shows these ‘community groups’ have sprung up in every town across our region and cover a wide range of topics. Each one has it’s own unique flavour, a blend of experience and knowledge that can’t be recreated. You learn casually through making friends and the more you give the more you get.
Staying with the theme of food & gardening, there are plenty of groups meeting regularly across the region. Just off the top of my head I know there are 3 gardening clubs including Torquay alone that meet regularly.
My suggestion, give them a call and get in on the action.