Manpower needed for community garden

A large-scale community garden in Lismore providing fresh produce for local people and educational opportunities is a vision Carla Tipping is hoping to turn into reality.

Just as big trees grow from little seeds, Carla is hoping her Lismore City Farm and Community Garden concept will take on a life of its own once the idea has taken root.

A designer of sustainable gardens currently studying for a diploma in permaculture, Carla, from Clovass near Casino, is holding a public meeting next Thursday, October 19, to gauge interest for the project.

As a model for this, Im using the Northey Street City Farm in Brisbane, which has been running successfully for 12 years, she said.

She said the Brisbane farm sold produce from its market garden each week, ran a variety of related courses and employed eight permanent staff with 50 volunteers.

The Lismore garden could run TAFE and other courses and workshops, have disability and bushfood gardens, seed-saving, involvement by Work-for-the-Dole participants and a community kitchen from which we can feed the homeless, Carla said. A major focus for me will be setting up a garden for school nutrition to combat obesity among children, including childrens workshops so they can go back and set up their own nutrition gardens at school.

I have done a few volunteer projects with school gardens and discovered that kids are very enthusiastic about them and want to learn more many didnt know where their vegetables came from or even where milk came from!

Carla said while scores of people have signed a petition supporting the community garden, she needs a show of manpower at next Thursdays meeting to get the project off the ground.

She hopes Council or a private donor will provide the land and also plans to approach local businesses for sponsorship.

Council wants us to put in a proposal to see how they can help and we need to show there is enough interest in it to take it forward, she said. We hope people will step forward at this meeting to help us take on this big challenge.

The meeting is on Thursday, October 19, at ACE North Coast in Magellan Street from 1pm. For further information contact Carla on 6663 1332.

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