$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.