Public garden concept sparks community interest

Organisers hoping to establish Lismores first large-scale community food garden have been heartened by the groundswell of support at a meeting last week to launch the concept.

Around 40 people attended the meeting in Lismore at which a steering committee was elected, a name adopted Rainbow Region Community Farms as well as the slogan Feed the People.

Co-ordinator Carla Tipping said many people had called her to say they were unable to attend the meeting but wanted to get involved.

It was fantastic, I was overwhelmed by the level of interest the ABCs Gardening Guru Phil Dudman came along and offered to get behind it, the Lismore Neighbourhood Centre has also offered support through its referral service for volunteers and many others are very excited about the project, Carla said.

The project, modelled on Brisbanes highly-successful Northey Street City Farm, aims to establish smaller community gardens in villages surrounding Lismore, with Lismore as a central hub featuring a main garden and demonstration gardens, educational facilities, shared and individual plots.

The meeting touched on things that members would like to see at the site such as school gardens, a vegie-box scheme, orchards and bush foods, seed-saving, a nursery, community kitchen, market gardens and an aged and disability garden, she said.

The first major step to turn the vision into reality is to acquire land and thats where Lismore City Council can help.

Carla said a proposal for the project and petition signed by several hundred locals would soon be presented to Council to demonstrate the high level of interest.

Hopefully Council may be able to donate land for it and the project can get up and running in about six months, Carla said. Were very ambitious and we have a very highly motivated bunch of people behind this.

Regular public meetings for the project will be held on the third Tuesday of each month, in the evenings so workers can attend. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 21, with the venue to be advised (keep an eye on The Echo).

For further information phone Carla on 6663 1332.

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