Ballys Patch is located at Lot 21, Church St Balgownie. It is situated in an area of medium density housing, in close proximity to Balgownie Village, an urban suburb of the Wollongong Local Government Area.
Grab a cup of tea, sit down and read on about the fairy tale of how Ballys Patch came to be:
Once upon a time in the village of Balgownie, dwelt Little Block, a small parcel of land owned by the Rulers of All Lands in Wollongong. Little Block had a piped watercourse traversing diagonally through it from when Fairy Creek was diverted many years before, making its only purpose in life to be a dumping ground for lawn clippings, building debris and other miscellaneous bits of junk. “A children’s playground” was mooted by the Rulers of All Lands in the 1950s but that got shelved later in favour of more vote-catching activities. More recently it was offered for sale, for a bag of gold, to the adjoining residents, but they were only allowed to use it as part of their gardens or a car park. Nobody was interested and Little Block grew sadder and more overgrown every day.
One day, a young visionary princess moved into the house next door to Little Block and she immediately envisaged something beautiful. Being a creative princess, she dreamed of turning it into a magic land for all, so she called a meeting of local interested subjects and together they made plans to create something wonderful – a community garden for all subjects. After many meetings, drawings, research and finally a submission to the Rulers of All Lands, approval was granted in March 2014 for Little Block to be transformed into Ballys Patch, a Garden for the Community. Two years and many volunteer-hours later, Ballys Patch has become a flourishing space with a young food forest happily growing beside communal beds of vegetables, flowers and herbs. A vibrant compost system is thriving and local businesses have rallied to sponsor Ballys Patch in many different ways. Recently a grant of $10,000 from the reigning monarch was bestowed on Ballys Patch for the installation of infrastructure, eg crushed granite paths, edging, Timber Creations seating, equipment and a storage shed. Ballys Patch, no longer the sad ugly Little Block, now looks forward to a long happy life as a useful and beautiful area for all the subjects of Balgownie and beyond.
Bally’s Patch Objectives
- To design and create a community garden where simplicity, self-sufficiency and education are at the core.
- To provide, without exclusivity, a chance to engage in, experiment with and promote practices that are economically and environmentally sustainable for generations to come.
- To educate children as to where their food comes from (not the supermarket aisle or the cafe!) and allow them to engage in the benefits of helping things grow and develop.
- To reduce green waste, pressure on landfill and the food miles of the food we eat.
- To encourage people to work together as a community to develop a practical relationship with and an understanding of our interdependence with the natural environment.
- To build social cohesion through active community use of our public open space.
- To share knowledge, and enjoy gardening whilst producing local food!
Bally’s Patch Governance
Ballys Patch is a Registered Incorporated organisation, with decision making by a volunteer committee. This committee consists of local people who volunteer their time and skills.