Growing movement: Yamba Community Garden co-ordinator Rod Jurd talks to people attending the public meeting at the Yamba Community Centre.
Growing movement: Yamba Community Garden co-ordinator Rod Jurd talks to people attending the public meeting at the Yamba Community Centre. Debrah Novak

Community digging in for garden

YAMBA’S green thumbs are confident their community garden should be ready for spring planting after a positive response at a public meeting on Saturday.

A co-ordinator of a steering committee set up after the meeting, Rod Jurd, said about 50 people turned up on Saturday and they took about 10 interim memberships.

Mr Jurd said Clarence Valley Council has told the group unofficially that a position in Wattle Park, Yamba, conforms with the plan of management for the park.

The area that will form the garden is about 25m x 25m. That will allow the creation of about 30 individual plots about 3m x 1.5m and some communal plots about 12m x 1.5m.

Mr Jurd said councillors Ian Tiley, Ian Dinham and Sue Hughes attended the meeting and were supportive of it.

“The goals are to teach people how to grow vegetables both in the community garden and their own private vegetable garden if they wish to set up a garden,” he said.

Mr Jurd said the next steps for the committee are to incorporate then to submit an application for funding to the Village Showcase project.

Village Showcase is the Clarence Valley part of the North Coast’s Foodlinks project, which aims to encourage the production of food closer to communities.

Mr Jurd said up to $50,000 is available from the NSW Government for groups to develop community gardens.

He said there are already other groups in the Valley at Iluka, Maclean and Wooloweyah, who could share in this funding.

“We would be the umbrella group for them,” he said.

Mr Jurd said some donations given on Saturday should be enough to cover the costs of the group’s incorporation.

The group has also put a submission to Council, which has a June 10 deadline.

Mr Jurd said by August everything should be in place to begin building up the plots and installing a tool shed.

“We will have a mixture of raised beds and lower-level beds,” he said.

“The raised bed will allow people with physical disabilities to take part in some gardening.”

People who want to establish a plot will have to join as a member of the Yamba Community Garden.

That will entitle them to their own plots and use of the communal plots.

“I expect the way we use the garden will evolve over time,” Mr Jurd said.



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