Flowerbeds at Werribee Mansion have been transformed into a vegetable patch, to help Wyndham families struggling during the COVID-10 pandemic.
In recent weeks, more than 480 kilograms of vegetables have been harvested from the mansion’s historic parterre gardens – which are famous among gardeners around the world – and sent to organisations providing food to Wyndham families in need.
Silverbeet grown in the gardens has been sent to a local Sikh Temple, which produces 1000 free meals a week for anyone in need, and Encore Events’ community kitchen, which is preparing 600 meals a week.
Werribee Park area chief ranger James Brincat said the silverbeet initiative began as a plan to put a green crop into the parterre to rest the soil from the nutrient-thirsty flowering crops it usually hosts.
Mr Brincat said the initiative stemmed from the Working Beyond the Boundaries partnership between Parks Victoria and refugee settlement agency AMES Australia.
He said the program had become so successful that it would become a regular winter project.
The parterre was planted by Parks Victoria horticulture team Adam Smith, Hsar Thein Ju and Adam Xerri.
Encore Events chef Luciano Fuentes said that while the events centre was closed during the COVID-19 crisis, its team was continuing to support the local community.
“Our dedicated team are here to assist and in a time where the events industry has been hit hard, our kitchen is still focused on the community, creating 600 meals a week for local families and individuals in need during a pilot program,” Mr Fuentes said.