Watching it grow, plans for community garden

IF YOU think your backyard takes some mowing, try looking after an entire acre. With no ride-on mower.

That's just one of the tasks juggled by volunteers at the South Coffs Community Garden in Bruce King Dr. Boambee.

A series of small grants ensured the beginnings of a garden were "planted" but there is a long way to go before this garden is in full bloom. The vision is to turn this acre into practical, beautiful community space. Not just a veggie patch, but a gathering place where the community can enjoy the garden and come together for regular events.

The driving force behind this vision, husband and wife team John and Christine Higgins, have taken on the roles of garden treasurer and manager and are asking us all to dig deep and help create a real asset for the area.

"This area doesn't have anything like this, there is so much potential for the site," Christine said.

"The idea of this garden is not only to be practical, but also to look good and be a lovely social space.

"A garden that concentrates on edible produce and recycling can sometimes appear a bit like a dump site but we will be planting flowers and shrubs and building seating to encourage people to sit and enjoy. We're not creating a manicured botanic garden but hopefully a community backyard."

The main item on the wish list is a pavilion, but over time they are also hoping to get a barbecue and pizza oven, water tanks, fruit trees to create an orchard, shade trees and shrubs and a ride-on mower.

Christine and John Higgins, Boambee community garden June 1017
Christine and John Higgins, Boambee community garden June 1017 Rachel Vercoe

The community came together recently to support the Sawtell Cinema through crowd funding, so Christine is using the same idea in the hope locals will once again come to the party for a project that will benefit everyone.

"Our campaign is called Digging for Health and Happiness," she said.

"The goal is to raise $40,000 and we are kicking it off at Keen's Sawtell Chilli Festival.

"We've had some great support from local schools and Adam's Sawmill donated timber which we are going to use to build an entrance archway.

"This garden will be more than a garden, it will be a social space, a place to come together and connect, share ideas and learn skills from each other, host community events or to just find a quiet corner and read a book under a tree."

Volunteers have already built 19 garden beds, which have been filled and are ready to plant. The beds will be rented out at $50 a year each so locals can grow their own vegies.

"I'm really hoping once we get the pavilion up people will come and enjoy the space, come and share skills, and exchange knowledge about gardening and healthy living."

Garden volunteers meet 1pm, first Sunday of the month at the ground. Just show up and join in.

Details 0438 280 451, To donate go

Topics:  community garden

Scammers look for easy prey

BE ALERT: Lester Platts is spreading the word to be alert to computer scams.

Vigilance will save you

Lost in Paris to open French film festival

ON SCREEN: An eclectic program of 15 films at Screenwave's Vive la France! French Film Festival.

FANCY a French fizz in your step? A dose of cinematic champagne?

Test the brains trust with our weekend quiz

Test your general knowledge.

Local Partners

Group hug as council funds flow

Cultural grants help events

Challenge for cyclists of all levels and ages

This year's C.ex McDonald's Cycle Challenge is being held on Sunday, August 6. You can ride in the the 10km family ride, 20km, 40km, 60km, or the 100km challenge.

This year's cycle challenge is being held on Sunday, August 6.

New developments announced for Curryfest

TASTE TREATS: New developments for Curryfest 2017.

Fresh ideas and developments show no sign of slowing down.

VIDEO: Girls can feel safe at Splendour

Punters at Splendour in the Grass 2016 at Byron Bay.

High visibility police will be among the crowd at all times

Beauty blogger’s horribly racist product review

A POPULAR beauty blogger and model has come under fire for using a racist slur in a recent post.

Outrage as Ninja Warrior cuts Australia's fittest man

Adelaide’s James Newbury was mysteriously cut from the Ninja Warrior broadcast.

Australia's fittest man wasn’t good enough for Ninja Warrior.

Maggie's whirlwind trip around Japan

Maggie Beer pictured in a scene from her TV special Maggie in Japan.

Cooking icon serves up the best of Japanese cuisine in new TV show.

Exploring our complex relationship with the Southern Cross

Warwick Thornton in a scene from his documentary film We Don't Need A Map.

Filmmaker Warwick Thornton explores national identity, nationalism.

Ben will be cooking with Oma

Masterchef 2017 contestant Ben Ungermann.

MASTERCHEF'S last man standing will draw on his Dutch heritage.

Prince Charles and Camilla heading for Qld

Prince Charles and Camilla

It promises to be a holiday fit for a King

Eddie McGuire to come back as Footy Show co-host

Eddie McGuire at the Million Dollar Lunch annual fundraiser for the Children's Cancer Foundation in Melbourne, Friday, Aug. 6, 2015. (AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy) NO ARCHIVING

Footy Show axes Craig Hutchison, Sam Newman survives

Mum buys $900,000 apartment for her 8-year-old son

Tania Katsanis beat another couple of homeowners to secure the winning bid.

The apartment was a 'bargain' as the property market bottoms out

Owner tells of ghostly goings on at old Mackay pub

GHOST STORIES: Several people have died at the Mirani Hotel

Owner says pub is 'definitely haunted'

Developers 'pushing the envelope' with subdivisions

Darren Boettcher.

"When I said the block couldn't be subdivided, he just walked out"