A few years ago disability services provider, Kurrajong Waratah, was gifted a parcel of land on the outskirts of Wagga Wagga NSW by the late Dick Nash and his wife Maisie to create a place for the whole community to enjoy. Hildasid Farm, which was named in honour of Dick’s parents’ Hilda and Sid Nash, is now a 268 acre operation that includes a village green, community gardens, sensory garden, kids area, walking trails and cycle tracks, wetlands and farm animals. Kurrajong Waratah, in their 2019 annual report noted that “The vision for Hildasid Farm is to create a place where people of all backgrounds, cultures, interests and abilities can come together to connect and immerse in nature.”
WaterUps® has been honoured to be able to be involved with the development of Hildasid Farm. Vince Hunt, one of WaterUps® founders, has been involved almost from the beginning, being largely responsible for the design of the site and added his creative flair and landscaping / horticultural knowledge to the project. Vince was instrumental in helping address the site problems that included limited water availability, poor soil quality and its exposed position with limited protection from prevailing winds. With the significant horticulture activities planned for the site, Vince suggested that the solution lay in the establishment of a series of raised timber garden beds with WaterUps® wicking systems. This was the start of the Hildasid Farm community garden. 30 beds were constructed initially and these performed very well in the harsh conditions. There are now 40 raised garden beds and in the coming months some waist high beds will be built for those who wish to garden from their wheelchair.
Hildasid now has farm animals, and they are certainly a hit. They are being hand reared and can be fed by Hildasid’s clients, which is heartwarming to see. There is a pony, 2 goats, 2 sheep and a family of three alpacas. Chickens and their overnight accommodation ‘chicken caravan’ are next to come.
When completed Hildasid will be a landmark tourist destination in south-western NSW incorporating a working farm, extensive community gardens, a sensory garden, and other attractions and is expected to be open to the public in 2022.
The driving force behind Hildasid is Cathie Smith, who we encourage you to contact if you would like to assist this project in any way. A huge amount of the work at Hildasid has been done by an amazing team of volunteers, particularly retired local farmers, John Lane and Andrew Lee. Ian Johnson will join the team on July 1 as farm coordinator. Ian has a horticultural and agricultural background and will handle the WaterUps® side of things for Hildasid Farm.
Hildasid Farm will be stocking the range of WaterUps® products as our stockists for the Riverina area.