At Mullumbimby Community Garden Jo Hoy, horticulture therapy co-ordinator, with (rear, from left) Matijo Beams, Gerard Moate, Maree Murfet, Rameshwar and Alan Grey who are now growing their own food.
At Mullumbimby Community Garden Jo Hoy, horticulture therapy co-ordinator, with (rear, from left) Matijo Beams, Gerard Moate, Maree Murfet, Rameshwar and Alan Grey who are now growing their own food. Jay Cronan

$350,000 makes gardens grow

FROM a little thing a big thing has grown – the Mullumbimby Community Garden.

Four years ago the garden was but a dream of a few green-fingered enthusiasts.

Now it is a 2ha food-producing oasis on the edge of the village.

Community garden co-ordinator Jeannette Martin said the garden was all about teaching people how to grow their own food.

“There are many people who would like to have a veggie patch at home, but they don't know what to do,” she said.

The permaculture-based garden is one of seven community-based food groups to receive a $50,000 Village Showcase grant from Northern Rivers Food Links.

The 70-member organisation will spend its grant to expand its operations through upgrading the road within the garden, building a disabled compost toilet, running courses on gardening, composting, biochar and no dig gardening, and to develop a planting guide for Far North Coast climatic conditions.

There are also plans to hold a harvest festival.

The Nimbin Neighbourhood and Information Centre also received a grant for its Nimbin Food Security project.

The grant money will be used to buy a grain mill and to run training courses to help people develop food production skills.

A local food map, which will be used to help assess and develop the community's post-harvest processing capacity, will be also developed.

Other recipients of grants were Kyogle Together for its project, Seeds of Knowledge.

Growing a Sustainable Richmond Valley will alsoreceive a grant to start a community garden and to run workshops.

Caldera Sustainable Community Futures will develop a community garden, edible landscapes at Uki, and run backyard field days with its grant.

The House With No Steps in Alstonville will use the $50,000 to start a farmers market.

The Northern Rivers Food Links project is a co-operative initiative of seven Northern Rivers councils and Rous Water.



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