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Community garden powers up

John Jessup (left) from Lismore Community Garden and Nick Lake from Nickle Energy like the feel of solar power.
John Jessup (left) from Lismore Community Garden and Nick Lake from Nickle Energy like the feel of solar power.

The Lismore Community Garden runs off the sun. All gardens do.

The volunteers help, of course, but the driving force for this community project on the corner of Brewster and Magellan Streets is sunlight.

Now, the sun is also providing lighting and power for the on-site shed/office.

Nickel Energy, a local solar energy company, has donated a complete solar system to the Lismore Community Garden. That includes panels, batteries, regulator, inverter and installation.

“It’s a perfect fit for us,” Nickel Energy’s Nick Lake said. “It’s about sustainability and community resilience. We have a community education team and this is the place to hold talks about renewable technology and sustainability.”

Carla Tipping is the garden designer and directs the garden’s development. She’s delighted by the addition of solar power.

“It’s a sustainable technology – which is the whole point of this place.”

The new solar system even supports an electric fridge which is much appreciated by the band of hard-working volunteers.

“It’s fabulous,” Terry Lawrence declared as she walked in from the garden with a bowl of freshly-picked greens and cherry tomatoes. “We can get cold from the sun! I’m making ice for drinks…”

Terry is president of Rainbow Region Community Farms, which oversees the Lismore Community Garden.

“This (the Lismore Community Garden) is one of our projects,” she said. “We also assist people with neighbourhood gardens.”

The community garden is open six days a week and provides people with experience in garden design, growth and management as well as food, flowers and fun. Individuals and groups can become involved and cultivate garden beds.

“We like to work with local businesses too,” volunteer John Jessup said. “Gardens are for the whole community. We even have outreach programs to help older people with their backyard gardens.”

To celebrate the Lismore Community Garden going solar there’s a party at the garden (a solarbration?) this Saturday morning, April 9, from 10am to 1pm. The garden will host children’s activities, and there will be refreshments, music, a light lunch and guest speakers.

It’s a chance to see our community garden, meet the volunteers and maybe even become involved in some way.

For more info phone Terry on 6622 1568 or visit the website www.rrcf.org.au.


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