In the midst of squalor Tracy Leonard (25) has cultivated a patch of garden where she grows vegetables to nourish the community.

Claiming a patch of land near the Denis Hurley outreach clinic, which operates from a shipping container in Dalton, Leonard has been growing spinach, tomatoes, beetroot, brinjal and chillies that form a bright oasis within the cityscape of Dalton.

“I wanted to make something for people so we can eat healthy food,” said Leonard. Her biggest obstacles have been sourcing water for the vegetable patch and keeping the neighbourhood chickens out, although Leonard says that the Dalton Beer Hall, which is a stone’s throw from her garden, has allowed her to fetch water from their taps. Leonard hopes to install a water tank soon so that her garden can flourish independently.
“My dream is to sell my vegetables and to help small children,” she said. Ruth Birtwhistle, a nurse who works at the outreach clinic, sponsored the plants used to start the garden.