GREEN THUMBS: Angela Wallace, Nicole and Kaiden Larkin and John Walsh at the Coffs Regional Community Garden for the open day held as part of the Sustainable Living Festival. Photos: Gemima Harvey
GREEN THUMBS: Angela Wallace, Nicole and Kaiden Larkin and John Walsh at the Coffs Regional Community Garden for the open day held as part of the Sustainable Living Festival. Photos: Gemima Harvey

Community Gardens draw a crowd

KIDS picking strawberries, unit-dwellers embracing green space and organic enthusiasts are among the cross-section of people who frequent the Coffs Regional Community Gardens (CRCG).

An open day, filled with workshops on topic including composting and building with bamboo, drew a crowd to the community gardens at the weekend and brought the curtain down on the Sustainable Living Festival.

Council sustainability officer Kirsty Fikkers said about 4000 people attended events during the festival.

"Sustainable living is not only about minimising our impacts on the environment.

"It's also about making life simpler, more cost effective and making our community happier, healthier and wealthier," Ms Fikkers said.

Looking at the permaculture practices in place at the CRCG, it's easy to see how systems are designed to complement one another and sustainably maximise productivity.

Take the ducks' bath tub, for example, which is regularly drained onto the banana trees downhill.

The earth gets fertilised, the bananas trees thrive and the ducks get to splash around in a fresh bath.

Another example is the array of life that discarded food can support.

Why throw food scraps in the bin when you could compost?

At the community gardens, food scraps are added to old tubs which sustain compost worms.

Not only is the worm/compost juice drained and used to feed plants, the worms are fed to the fish.

And the fish, in turn, help support another ecosystem in the aquaponics section.

CRCG co-ordinator Matthew Downie said that people were welcome to visit the gardens to ask questions, look at the sustainable systems and to get inspired about growing organic produce.

It's open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am to 3.30pm and also on Sundays from 10am to 2pm.

Go to www.CoffsCommunityGardens.org.au.



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