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Usufruct - A great way to share the MCG

We know that the needs of the natural world are more important than the economic system, but privatization sees it the other way around. Privatization of land implies the right of the "owner" to use the land in any way he/she/it sees fit including despoiling the land to "make a profit" at the expense of the local community and all other species. Native communities know this and do not voluntarily give up their common resources on which their communities depend until their communities have been destroyed.

Privatization has led to land use "for profit" and not "for community." Our suburban system is at the heart of our economic problems and is the single greatest waste of resources in the history of the world. Privatization has led to a living arrangement with no future.

Aprovecho Institute, Cottage Grove, Ore-Gone [photo by C. Burr]


Usufruct is an old Roman term for the legal right to enjoying the replenishable fruits or profits from property owned by another. This includes the ability sell or let the enjoyment of the usufruct. But what if the owner was your local community? This would end private property.

In tribal communities usufruct means the land is owned in common by the tribe or community, but families and individuals have the right to use plots of land. Most native tribes owned land as a tribal group and not as individuals. The family never owned the land; they just farmed it. In a usufruct system, absentee ownership is not permitted. Modern usufruct examples include Cuba's successful agricultural system, the traditional Mexico ejido system, and the right of native Canadian people to hunt and fish on Crown lands.


Marlborough Community Gardens

Marlborough Community Gardens



Coordinator Report -Tina Fortune


Apologies:                          Tim Newsham, Karen Walshe


Correspondence In:

Te Rapuora Health Services - confirmed interest in garden plot

Jennie Gane - advice of school education coordinator in Nelson


Correspondence Out:

Rosie Bartlett of MDCouncil - water connection invoice to be sent to Trish

Ross Cooke of Vintage Farm Machinery – brief of Marlborough Annual Tool Drive idea, to be presented at next meeting 1st Monday of the month.

David of Marlborough Express re advertisement for storage container – no replies

Communicating with members

Roz Davenport, Marlborough Express - date of MOU signing article (to be finalized)

Nelly of Slow Food, Shari of Te Rapuora Health Services - discussing option to have an allotment

Pete Smith - childhood education coordinator for edible gardens, Public Health Nelson-Marlborough

Lily Belabun of NMIT - is there more land available?



Met with Alex Lloyd, Graphic Designer - briefed and will present ideas for logo and 'identity'. Would like to support gardens - budget $250?

Interested in diary concept and any other ideas that come along.


Met with Rosie Bartlett & Kathy MDCouncil in respect to plans, layout and funding.

Rosie to forward plans defining land ownership for future prospects.

Plus information relating to funding for capital expenditure on gardens, ie. fencing, etc.

Kath to draft a layout plan as outlined by Tina F at meeting for MCGardens to consider.

Suggested approaching HortResearch re grapevine 'hedging' around garden.

Kath also mentioned some of the challenges and systems of the Golden Bay Community Garden. 

Total of water connection looks to be $2200 - invoice to come after resealing completed. 

Spoke with Jane Horder, Nelson Media Agency – fortnightly article on MCGardens. 

Meeting with Richard Hunter today at 12noon, 18Feb09 to discuss garden layout.

Will report at meeting.


Marlborough Community Gardens

Marlborough Community Gardens

Committee Meeting

Thursday, 19th February, 2009 @ Riversdale Community House 


Mark Lower, Neville White, Donald Oakes, Richard Hunter, Peter Crosbie, Judith Crosbie, Tina Fortune, Patricia Clay


Chris Fortune, Tracey Williams, Karen Walshe, Sharon White, Tim Newsham

Correspondence in:

Jennie Gane informed Tina F of a School education coordinator for edible gardens both for the school and community

Correspondence out:

Refer coordinator's report

Matters Arising:

Reviewed key points of last meeting

Judith has found a few snippets from the past to begin the History Calendar of the MCGardens

Tina F will organize a diary/book for the notes to go in to and then notes will be added as the MCGardens progress

Mark L suggested the word "endeavour" – the MCGardens endeavours to be organic

Donald called Minutes as true and correct, Seconded by Peter


Coordinator's Report:

Refer attached – comments that arose were:

Clouston Gardens, Springlands mentioned as a place to visit that has an edible orchard, etc – view for inspiration

Tina F checked on placement of container, it was decided in front of the Kohunga Reo fence.


Garden Team Leader Report:

Meeting with Tina F raised the importance of contacting the interested parties for allotments and having them start work on their allotments.

Donald stated that he will meet with Richard H to select an allotment.

Donald talked about the need for forward thinking – planning and planting for winter.

Tina F suggested a growing calendar, one page document that could provide planting suggestions. Something to guide gardeners on the time to plant.

Richard mentioned what is growing, is growing prolifically – especially the silverbeet and there is watermelon – proves the richness of the soil


Treasurers Report:

$11,250 being held in Marlborough Farmers' Market bank account – no withdrawals, as yet.




Strategy Team

MOU signing article will feature in the Marlborough Express, Tina F.

Tina F requested the possibility of more land from Lily Belabun, NMIT, not yet.

Tina F requested a Schedule/Time Plan be created by suggestions from the members, looking towards the Sept/Oct launch


Tina F still seeking someone to coordinate funding

2/…Community Groups

Lynn Johnson of MDC is the Community Liaison Officer – excellent contact for community organizations

Charitable Trust

Trish noted the word 'Edible' had been quietly dropped from the original name, for the Deed what will be the official name? Discussion followed and it was decided the legal name will be The Marlborough Community Gardens with a subtitle with the word 'edible' included. Along the lines of The Marlborough Farmers' Market, Fresh from the gate to the dinner plate.

Trish outlined and discussed the wording under the heading of Aims. Members will receive the Deed draft by email to review and comment.

Establish Strategy Plan

Tina F asked each member at the meeting to suggest their view on the priority of tasks they would like to see on the Time Schedule Plan, looking towards the launch Sept/Oct

Marlborough District Council

Plans for layout of garden have been finalized at a meeting Tina F had with Rosie Bartlett and Kath. Plans will be drawn up and forwarded to Tina F when completed

Funding applications for MDC are due; an application will be forwarded for completion

Sheps Park (Severne Street) and Henderson Park (off Gardiner Street) were suggested by Rosie Bartlett as other excellent sites for MCGarden

Tenancy Agreement of allotments

Tina F and Neville W working on a business model for the MCGardens, points such as "do we have a tenancy agreement?" for allotments

Tina F referred to some of the agreement that Golden Bay Gardens has with their tenants

A time and day will be arranged to visit the Golden Bay Gardens and possibly two established gardens in Nelson


General Business

Tina F posted the question: "How does a small area, which is made up of 12 allotments become sustainable?" Discussion followed, prefer not to rely on funding but more on Community buy-in and educational projects

Neville W and Tina F will draft proposal of "business model" to attempt sustainable

Layout of allotments was discussed, Richard to map and peg out paths around each allotment for definition and access. Also a 'reflective' area will be incorporated for gardeners and visitors to sit and "share a flask of tea and chat".

Is wheelchair access needed – Yes


Meeting closed 8.25pm

Next Meeting: 7pm, Thursday, 19th March 2009 @ Riversdale Community House




Minutes of MCF Meeting 5 th FEB 09

Marlborough Community Gardens

Committee Meeting

Thursday, 5th February, 2009 @ Riversdale Community House



Karen Walshe, Neville White, Sharon White, Donald Oakes, Richard Hunter, Peter Crosbie, Judith Crosbie, Tim Newsham, Tina Fortune, Patricia Clay


Chris Fortune, Tracey Williams,

Correspondence in:

Notification of $10,000 funding received.  Health Board, letter of engagement. Rosie Bartlett of MDC, water connected

Correspondence out:

Communication with members, Tina


Matters Arising:

Reviewed key points of last meeting


Coordinator’s Report:

As attached.

Garden Team Leader Report:

Water working well.

Issues identified - Lucerne, twitch and daytura. Mowed but returned. Spraying not an option because of nearby growing veges. PD been in but not effective. Tim Newsham suggested planting dense green crop.

Vandalism has occurred; try to encourage them to become involved.

Treasurers Report:

$10,000 received.




Appoint Secretary: Tracey Williams volunteered verbally to Tina F to undertake the role of Secretary.

Infrastructure of strategy and garden teams: Karen Walshe offered to take the role of Marketing.

Events for the garden, Tina F offered to oversee.

Tim Newsham offered to help with promoting gardens to schools and placed forward ideas, which will be referenced as the gardens progress.

Education/Mentoring – possibly Julie Williams to advise and Tim Newsham.

Before next meeting, infrastructure will be finalized, ie. persons dedicated to sourcing funding, garden layout/landscaping,

Incorporation: Patricia suggested the MCGardens register as a Charitable Trust and will look into what is required. Tim suggested using other garden constitutions as a guideline for MCGardens.

Allocation of funds as per MOU: agreed to pay for water connection, organize lease of container, begin work on “Annual” tool drive aiming to do after Easter, Richard H to purchase tools that are needed now and will be reimbursed, or a cheque written, for the cost of same, Marlborough Farmers’ Market to continue support until MCGardens independent – Patricia (Treasurer) to receive a token donation at completion of pilot project and Tina F (coordinator) payment to be discussed at a later date, **promotion of gardens to begin with designing logo, branding, ‘business model’, signage and newsletter.

History record/timeline will be collated by Judith Crosbie and added to as the garden progresses.




Page 2


General Business

Signing of MOU in paper, Tina F to find out date inserted.

Allotment sites have been pegged, groups to see Richard Hunter for allocation.

Riversdale Community House, Te Rapaoura, Tracey Williams expressed interest in past for a site.

Decided to leave organic until later date and increase sites from 6 to 12.

Allotments 10m x 30m each

Donald advised time to plant brassicas, autumn/winter crop now.

Tina F would like to link all other edible gardens in Marlborough and sees the MCGardens as the “mother” or centre point of these gardens – seed bank, tools, education, etc

Tim N suggested one person be appointed responsibility for the maintenance of the MCG tools, individual allotments will have their own tools and be responsible for their maintenance.

Tim N suggested a school competition for the name of the gardens, Tina felt the energy, time and outcome may not be where we would like it placed at this point of the pilot – but use the concept at a later date. Excellent marketing tool.

Richard H mentioned the idea of painting a mural on the fence that runs alongside the gardens to brighten the area.

Don C suggested an AA road sign.

Tina F mentioned the Marlborough Farmers’ Market would move beside the gardens on its launch day in Sept/Oct to offer support.

Tina F suggested a sign by the garden showing the sketch of the final layout of the gardens. To help people visualize the intention.

Tina F to approach Radio and newspaper, once ** is completed and in place.

Tina F suggested an Information Pack for those interested in having an allotment at the gardens.

Tina F said there is a Community Stall at the farmers’ market for gardeners from the MCGardens to sell their fresh produce plus have a stall or outlet at the gardens for selling.

Tina F keen to visit a successful community garden in the Nelson region to identify issues that may arise.

Judith and Peter C are visiting the Canterbury Community Gardens in March.

Riversdale Community House received their funding for their garden project.



Meeting closed 8.35pm

Next Meeting: 7pm, Thursday, 19th February 2009 @ Riversdale Community House