Archived News Item

Rahamim community gardens opened

Rahamim Ecological Learning Community, a ministry of the Bathurst Sisters of Mercy, recently opened its new community gardens. Re-designed on the principles of permaculture, the gardens comprise communal and individual plots. Members of the community can rent a plot of land to grow vegetables or flowers or simply pay a small membership to help work the communal plots. Ann-Maree O’Beirne RSM, Rahamim Property Manager, reports.

On Saturday September 25, Rahamim Ecological Learning Community opened its new community garden. The garden plot has been re-designed on permaculture principles in the last four months and has taken on a very new look and function. The garden has a mix of communal and individual plots. Members of the community can rent a plot of land to grow vegetables or flowers or simply pay a small membership to help work the communal plots.

Members are encouraged to share their knowledge and skills as well as their work and produce. After only one week we have allocated all plots and we are witnessing community gardeners coming into the garden to plant, mulch and water.

The ‘make-over’ was made possible by a very generous donation from the Gunnedah Sisters of Mercy, local environmental groups, Macquarie River Care and Greening Bathurst and generous discounts from local suppliers. The work was entirely carried out by the Bathurst Correctional Centre Outreach Team and its Officer, Scott Keen. These men worked enthusiastically and creatively to construct an interesting array of beds from recycled cardboard, newspapers, rubble, railway sleepers and woodchip.

The project was managed by the Rahamim Community Gardens Committee and Ann-Maree O’Beirne RSM (Rahamim Property Manager). Check out the Rahamim website and click on “News” for more information and photos.

On the same day, Rahamim Auxiliary led by Mrs Josephine Marais, held our first fundraiser, a “Garage Sale with a Touch of Class”, and raised some much-needed funds for our ongoing work and ministry.

There were a number of stalls: fashion, books, blue elephant & bric-a-brac, garden, furniture and the DUCKS also ran a stall. Mr Fav and Eugene Marais sizzled hundreds of sausages and Sr Michelle’s and Mrs Fav’s famous scones were served on the Mount Grounds as Devonshire Tea.

There were many Bathurst Mercies, friends and family who came to assist on the stalls as well as Christina Aitken RSM from the Wilcannia Forbes Mercies. Goods for the stalls were generously donated by local people. We were all very exhausted afterwards, but what a wonderful day.

Upcoming Rahamim Programs
Suffering humanity is frequently linked to natural disasters often brought on by human abuse of the planet’s natural resources and life support systems. The challenge for our Mercy charism now is to understand how human beings are part of, not separate from, the natural environment, and therefore to encourage earth literacy. If you are thinking of visiting Rahamim, spring is the time to transform your thoughts into action.

Rahamim has two spring attractions well worth considering:

  • October 25-30: scientist and retreat director Mary Dennett RSM will take us on a reflective journey into the universe to discover how God is revealing God there in our time (six-day retreat: "The Universe and Revelation of God"); and
  • November 20-21: Nick Rittar, internationally renowned teacher, will offer a taste of the basics of permaculture, designing systems to feed you and your community, creating comfortable, low-impact living environments, building community resilience and helping to repair our earth.

Visit for more information.

From: Ann-Maree O’Beirne RSM