At The New Brighton Community Gardens there's more going on than just growing veges...
We stopped by to chat to Lin Klenner about her passion project of producing calendula oil to give to cancer patients.
Chances are you might have this wonder flower growing in your garden, and don’t even know about it – or to rip it out, because it does grow like a weed around here! Being so easy to grow, it’s a great addition to your flower beds and vege patches.
There’s so many great uses for calendula, but one of the best is its skin healing properties.
Having a lived experience with cancer treatment, Lin knows all too well the effects cancer treatments can have on your skin.
“We have some really good treatments these days, but often there is huge side effects. Skin issues sometimes is directly related to chemo and radiation. We know that people lose their hair and get very sensitive skin on their head as well. Whatever you put on the body just goes like, I can’t handle anymore. So calendula’s very soothing and that. I went through treatments myself, so I know a bit what’s what’s coming up for people, as part of my own journey.”
Unfortunately calendula oil can be very expensive to purchase, which seemed so wrong to Lin when she found out how much it could help. Since the gardens started to make other calendula products, it seemed easy to make calendula oil in the purest form possible to give away to those needing it.
“We don’t put beeswax. We don’t put any essential oils, nothing in it. It’s just grape seed oil and calendula and like the full doses of calendula. And we really fill it with goodness.”
The Community Gardens product a number of calendula products you can buy directly from them, including calendula lip balms ointment and tea. All profits go back to funding the gardens. If you are a cancer patient the calendula oil is absolutely free.
“I would love for people who are in a hospital to invite them to come to our community garden and just to enjoy bits of peace of it when they’re ready, and for them to know that this product is here if they wanted it.”
The New Brighton Community Gardens is a beautiful hidden gem, and well worth a visit if you’re in the area. You’ll find it just off the Shaw Ave entrance of Rāwhiti Domain. They aren’t open every day so check them out online before you plan to visit.