A CONGOLESE migrant with a background in farming and gold mining has spearheaded the creation of a community garden.

In David Nteziyaryo’s home country of the Republic of Congo it is commonplace for people to grow their own food and work alongside neighbours during harvest.

His extensive knowledge of horticulture and collaboration has played an invaluable role in the new community garden, at the Sunraysia Mallee Ethnic Communities Council headquarters in Mildura.

Mr Nteziyaryo has led the creation of the garden by the Mildura Men’s Group.

The garden, which opened in May, offers a variety of free vegetables including silverbeet, cabbage, garlic and lettuce for multicultural community members to take home.

Mr Nteziyaryo said the garden was a source of fresh produce while also creating a sense of collaboration between the volunteers.

“We made this garden to help men from different countries to come together and share their knowledge,” he said.

“The vegetables are important for the community, it is necessary for people to eat and we can share the vegetables and they can take it home to eat.”

Mr Nteziyaryo said the group wanted to expand the garden and needed volunteers who would like to pick up a shovel and help.

“We want to make more (planter) boxes – we have five at the moment and we are hoping to make another five.”

SMECC’s Michael sang the praises of Mr Nteziyaryo for his hard work in bringing the project to life.

“David has been an absolute revelation his knowledge of the plants and his ability to bring people and add to that, he is very good on the shovel,” he said.

“He has been able to help not just here but in many areas around SMECC he has been a great asset to us.”​


By: Jack Evans

Sunraysia Daily, JUNE 19 2023

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