Valla Beach Community Preschool enter sustainable scarecrow into Nambucca Heads Community Garden's spring display

Giiguy (rainbow) is a very colourful fellow. He’s about 6ft tall, handy in the garden, and is strongly influenced by the sustainability movement.

He’s also the handiwork of 19 three and four-year-olds from Valla Beach Community Preschool.

Giiguy is one of the scarecrows entered into this year’s spring display at the Growing Together Community Garden in Nambucca Heads.

But he’s not the usual straw-stuffed-shirt variety; the kids have been applying their newly-learned sustainability skills to ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ themselves a scarecrow.

“Lots of thought has gone into the design,” one of the class teachers Laura Robbins said.

“We got them to plan every step of the way—not just go gung-ho into it.”

The kids worked for almost three months mocking up illustrations and testing different materials to find the perfect scarecrow ‘look’.

And yesterday they got to see their colourful mascot in action at the gardens.

The scarecrow display is an initiative by the community garden to reach out to the wider public.

“It’s just nice to get the community together,” activities coordinator Vera Nichols said.

So far there are seven scarecrows keeping watch over the strawberries and tomatoes with entries from the Nambucca Heads Preschool, the Pacifica nursing home, the Nambucca Heads Uniting Church, Healthy Living For Seniors and the ‘Growing Together’ community garden volunteers.

The children proved their loyalty and voted convincingly for their own creation.

Graham Jones, one of the volunteer coordinators at the garden, said that he hopes the event will catch on and continue next year.

“We’ve got an intergenerational theme here at the gardens, so it’s fitting to have scarecrows from both young and old” Graham said.

“And the kids have been having a great time here running around.

“It’s lovely to see these young ones learning where eggs come from, and how their veggies are grown.”

The garden is situated on the corner of Ridge and Lees Sts at the back of the old fire shed and the public is encouraged to come along on Tuesday or Thursday mornings for a quick induction.

Paths are graded for strollers and wheelchairs and raised garden beds allow people of all abilities to get their hands dirty. 

“The garden is available for anyone to come and help,” Vera said.

“You don’t have to be an expert gardener, you just need to have an interest."

“And we’re so lucky to have the fire shed. We’ve got toilets, a fridge and urns. People can just come and have a cuppa if they like.”

The spring scarecrow display will be open to the public with visitors encouraged to visit during garden work days on Tuesday and Thursdays between 10am-12pm.

The public will be asked to vote for their favourite scarecrow in the last week of September and the display will conclude with a sausage sizzle on Saturday, September 30, when the ‘people’s choice’ winning scarecrow will be announced.

The barbecue is on the same day as the Valla Hot Rod Run and the garden crew is hoping that punters will wander their way for some respite.

It’s not too late to enter a scarecrow in the display, so if your group or organisation would like to display a scarecrow please contact Vera on 0403 172 971 or Graham on 0481 096 281 or email gtcgarden@gmail.com for more details.