A new member - a chef - joined the community garden on Macquarie Street in Dubbo recently and, after a fruitful day digging in the earth, he cooked the volunteers a roast chicken and vegetable dinner.
"There's a new buzz in the air because the season has changed from summer to autumn," Belinda Edmondson, OEC Community Garden Dubbo president, told the Daily Liberal.
"All the old summer plants come out [of the ground], garden beds get prepared with lots of manure and mulch and compost, ready for planting the autumn and winter crops."
The garden was set-up by Orana Education and Training to teach people about gardening, working a plot and producing food.
People pay a small fee to become members and they get their own patch to plant and tend. Helpers and volunteers get together once a month for working bees.
The garden is just as much about getting people involved in a community as it is about learning to grow and harvest vegetables.
People don't associate coriander with winter but it does really well in Dubbo.- Belinda Edmondson, OEC Community Garden Dubbo president
"We have a community strawberry patch, a community herb patch, community citrus, and we try to get together to have socials afterwards," Ms Edmondson said.
As the weather becomes cooler, they will "rug up and work hard with a hoe" and gather around the fire pit to keep warm.
The group is diverse, with members ranging in professions from doctors to teachers and retirees.
One of the more unusual crops harvested recently was okra which "a lot of people don't know about", and the gardeners also have themed nights in the park where they will pick a culture and bring food to share.
The gardeners are busy planting their winter crops this month, including brassicas, snow peas, carrots, lettuce, turnips, parsnips, climbing beans and - surprisingly - coriander.
"People don't associate coriander with winter but it does really well in Dubbo. In summer it goes to seed because it is so hot, so it does much better in winter," Ms Edmondson said.
Some of her personal favourites this time of year include Jerusalem artichokes, garlic and broccoli, and "there's nothing like pulling a carrot out of the ground".
The crew at the garden are preparing to be part of the Can Assist open garden tour, for which the members will make soup from pumpkins grown in the garden and sell cups of it to raise money for the charity.
Can Assist is a cancer assistance not-for-profit that provides accommodation, financial assistance and practical support to people from rural and regional areas undergoing cancer treatment - in this case at Western Cancer Centre Dubbo.
The garden's surplus vegetables go to the Adventist Development and Relief Agency for their food pantry at the Dubbo Seventh Day Adventist Church in Sterling Street.
"That will be things like cucumbers, spinach - whatever's the glut of the season," Ms Edmondson said.
The garden has around 25 members and there are currently five plots available for new members to join.
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What does Ms Edmondson like most about being involved with the community garden?
"Your interaction with the community and supporting different community groups, which allows you to network to a broader section of the community, and meet like-minded people," she said.
There was also something to be said for stress relief via "getting your hands in the soil - getting back to your biorhythms."
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