St. Lucia Brisbane: Dispute erupts over Growing Forward’s ‘guerrilla’ community vegetable patch
A “neighborhood watch leader” was filmed attempting to dismantle a makeshift community garden after complaining it had been planted over a cricket pitch used by local children.
The “guerrilla” vegetable patch was planted in St Lucia’s Playground Park, Brisbane, on March 24, only for a woman to begin removing it with her bare hands, days after a council compliance officer issued a notice saying set and clear the area.
In the 13-minute video, the woman says she has received “quite a few complaints” from concerned community members and is there to check on the condition of a cricket pitch under the garden.
Growing Forward, a community organization that grows food “on stolen land for anyone who needs it,” claims it built the garden on “public land” to help people organize themselves to grow their own food and encourage gardening.
Despite the group’s good intentions, there have been several attempts – including by local residents – to remove the garden since construction last week.
In the video, people try to stop the local who claims she is just checking the cricket pitch below
A man sitting with his girlfriend saw the woman walking in the garden and poking around in the dirt, prompting the couple to approach her and start recording.
A friend of the local, who viewers refer to as Karen, asked why the couple started recording.
“Because I saw a lady step out of that garden and pull stuff out,” replied the man behind the camera.
Within minutes, the resident also began filming the couple, who she said became aggressive despite “not touching a single plant.”
“The level of hostility is starting to rise, and I think that’s really unfortunate,” she said.
“Here the children are playing cricket, I’m checking the lawn damage – you’re ruining the cricket ground.”
The man tells her he’s already recorded her kicking plants before another garden advocate begins to block the woman’s movements.
“Don’t push me, I have a spinal injury,” she said before gesturing to the friend she’d come with.
“Could you please film this for me?
“Because it gets a little violent.”
As she continues to walk around the gardeners, they ask her to stop ripping open the cardboard insulation and tell her not to do that with her spinal injuries.
“I’m just checking what damage you’ve already done, because that’s a heated surface,” the woman said.
“This is a heated surface because they put some dirt and grass on it – as you can see the grass is starting to die.
“So you brought that to our area, wherever you’re from.”
The man then claims that the resident uses racist “dog whistles”.
Others try to tell her that it is a community garden to be shared by everyone.
“It’s not everyone’s garden because you’re using it for something that no one else around here would necessarily agree with,” she replies.
Although Growing Forward did not receive council approval before planting the garden, the group claims to have worked with the community.
“This garden was created after the area had a knock on the door and leaflets, and it was built with the help of the people living in the surrounding streets,” the group wrote on Facebook.
Despite these claims, Walter Taylor councilman James Mackay said the group was told to dismantle the garden before the resident even arrived.
Growing Forward is creating ‘guerrilla gardens’ around Brisbane to encourage gardening and healthy eating
When the person recording started asking others if they had batteries in their phones because his was about to die, the local woman continued to defend the cricket pitch.
“Kids from all over St. Lucia walk a kilometer to keep in touch and to play cricket here – this is their playing field,” she says.
The St. Lucia community remained divided over the garden, with some commenting on Facebook that while the group had good intentions, more communication with locals could have avoided the confrontation.
Many agreed the resident’s behavior was “embarrassing,” but some acknowledged that she was “advocating for children.”
“It makes a children’s playground an awkward place,” read another comment.
The woman herself took to Facebook to defend her actions, saying she would have happily spoken if she hadn’t encountered the “ten to one ratio”.
Growing Forward has used the incident to draw attention to their fundraiser, which aims to build more “guerrilla gardens” in other Brisbane suburbs.
So far, $4,250 of the $8,000 goal has been raised, with each garden costing approximately $2,000 to set up.
Daily Mail Australia has reached out to Queensland Police for comment.
Growing Forward has used the incident to draw attention to their fundraiser, which aims to build more “guerrilla gardens” in other Brisbane suburbs
So far, $4,250 of the $8,000 goal has been raised, with each garden costing approximately $2,000 to set up
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11909767/St-Lucia-Brisbane-Argument-erupts-guerilla-community-veggie-patch-Growing-Forward.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 St. Lucia Brisbane: Dispute erupts over Growing Forward’s ‘guerrilla’ community vegetable patch