Garden venture invests in future

THE hunt for local land by Kombu Wholefoods and North Bank Community Garden has already yielded some fruit. Well, sort of …

“We've had at least 12 offers from Glenreagh to Woolgoolga, Urunga and Thora with most based in the Bellingen and Thora Valleys,” Kombu's Mr Doye said.

“It has really highlighted just how abundant land is and how keen people are to have their land farmed.”

Together with Steve Smith from the Community Garden, the sites will now be visited to decide which is best suited to the project.

“What we are hoping for is to bring five to 10 hectares of local land back into production without the use of chemicals and Kombu is offering a guaranteed market for the produce.

“Basically we are trying to blur the lines between business and long-term sustainability.”

Once the land has been found, the next step will be to work out a business plan and then the search for a local investor will begin.

“We decided it was best to have the land first and plan around specifics rather hypotheticals,” Mr Smith said.

In accordance with the ethos of the project, when the time comes, the investor will need to be interested in environmental, social and edible returns as well as financial ones. The project will employ and train staff.

Mr Doye said his passion for the project was not only to reduce Kombu's carbon footprint but most deeply because he was a father wanting a viable healthy future for his kids.

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