Manta Apartments

Creating community through grassroots gardening

The smell of plump, sun ripened, organic produce wafting gently on the cool ocean breeze is not an experience you’ll encounter in many Sydney apartment complexes.

Free range! Organic! Handpicked! Sustainable! Eco-friendly! Community!

Yes, Manta residents have it all — the result of a group of like-minded residents, with a passion for fresh produce and a desire for the return of community and companionship through sharing and caring.

What was once around 100 square metres of ‘communal’ wasteland, with towering weeds and dead plants, has been transformed into a daily meeting place. A place to share fresh produce, moral support, opinions on current affairs, and much more.

Neighbours, who would normally pass quietly in the hallways barely acknowledging one another, began to bond with a shared enthusiasm for making something from nothing. A strong sense of community began to grow between owners and tenants from all walks of life. Residents spanning all ages and many nationalities were drawn together on this community project.

Each plot of approximately10 square metres is tended to and cared for by individual community garden members. Residents unable to commit to a plot have the opportunity to share produce from a range of fresh herbs and vegetables available in this shared community project.

A sense of community, often forgotten in today's fast-paced world and especially in secure apartment blocks, has been created and is now well and truly established at Manta Apartments in Pive Avenue, Little Bay. As communal kindness and sharing has firmly taken hold, so the roots of freshly planted herbs and other produce have spread, and residents are enjoying companionship and sharing with those they may never have had the pleasure of knowing.

Our thanks to Mick Joyce, Manta's Building Manager, for submitting this article and accompanying photos | February 2017