Organisers of Margaret River’s annual Edible Gardens Festival have put the call out for keen and passionate volunteers who want to get involved in the sustainability-focused community event.

The festival now features eight practical and inspiring food gardens from Cowaramup, Margaret River, Witchcliffe and Karridale which are set to open to the community on May 11&12. And volunteers are being recruited to staff each garden, check people in, provide info and assist with parking during a single day of the festival for a four-hour period.

As well as good vibes from helping a not-for-profit community event, volunteers receive a free ticket to attend the rest of the weekend’s open gardens, an invite and plate of food at the Sunday sundowner, and a special gift of heirloom seeds courtesy of Yates’ organic range.

“We had a fantastic team of volunteers who loved being involved in the last Edible Gardens Festival, and now we want to give people a chance to join the team for our 2024 event which is coming soon,” said festival co-organiser Valerie Vallee. “You don’t need any experience and it’s a great way to have fun, meet the community and learn more. See to volunteer and for more details.”

Margaret River Mitre 10 is again supporting the event by offering 20 per cent off all plants, fruit trees and seedlings for ticket-holders in the seven days following the festival.

For the first time, there will be Saturday and Sunday day tickets priced at $15 each, with four different open edible gardens each day from 9am-1pm. That’ll be followed by small-group, 90-minute workshops ticketed separately in the afternoons on topics including mastering composting, wicking beds and other waterwise tips, advanced soil management, and garden tool maintenance workshop that will get your tools in ship-shape condition for autumn gardening and give them a longer life, saving you money in the long run. Workshops are all hosted by expert teachers at Fair Harvest Permaculture, which is also the official campground for the event and will be serving food and drinks at the café.

To cap the weekend off, there’s a free community sundowner – which is already sold out – with an expert gardener Q&A panel, live music by The Nomadics, and food and drinks. “After a big weekend of inspiration and learning, the sundowner is a fabulous chance to come together, connect and share your passion for growing and sustainability,” said Ms Vallee.

Festival co-organiser Trev Paddenburg thanked festival supporters including the Shire of Augusta Margaret River, Margaret River Regional Environment Centre, Fair Harvest Permaculture, Gathered Organics, Margaret River Mitre 10, Yates Australia’s organic range, South West Tree Services, Shogun Tools, Shelter Brewing Co, Stella Bella Wines and the Margaret River Community Pantry.

“It’s a real privilege to play a role in connecting community and empowering people with knowledge and inspiration to get their hands dirty, grow their own food and have fun in the process,” Mr Paddenburg said. “Whether you’re already growing your own food or want to make a start, the festival is the perfect chance to get up close and personal with experienced green thumbs and tap into an immense bank of local, place-based knowledge to help you on your food-growing journey.”