Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall joined staff and clients at the spring planting of the new Glen Industries community garden. Pictured from left is General Manager Glen Industries Kylie Hawkins, Adam Marshall, BEST Employment Carri Wood, Inverell BEST Food Garden coordinator Danny Middleton, Glen Initiative Garden project coordinator Karen Donnelly and Cara Lightfoot of BEST Employment Glen Innes.
FOLLOWING the success of Inverell’s BEST Food Garden, last Friday Glen Innes Glen Industries launched its very own community vegetable garden and clients spent the morning planting their first crop of tomatoes, with the help of Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall.
Mr Marshall said the garden was the result of an excellent partnership between Glen Industries, Brighter Access, BEST Employment and the Federal Government.
“The BEST Food Garden in Inverell has been a great success story and one I’ve fully supported from the beginning and by the interest and enthusiasm shown here in Glen Innes by the community, I feel certain this will be as successful,” Mr Marshall said.
“It ticks all the boxes as far as providing people living with a disability with a way to fully engage with the community. At the same time, it helps out seniors and other disadvantaged households struggling to put fresh food on their tables as produce from the garden it delivered free of charge to their homes.
“At present, Inverell’s BEST Food Garden team is delivering up to 100 vegetable bags to households in Inverell and Glen Innes. Glen Industry clients planted their first crop of tomatoes on Friday at their Church Street site and once the crop is harvested, will be delivered to households in Glen Innes and Inverell.
“It will certainly be a worthwhile partnership for all involved as Inverell’s last tomato crop struggled with blight and production was low. The Glen Initiative Garden (GIG) is located at Glen Industries old commercial flower production site and the old greenhouses will slowly being re-covered giving them a longer growing season and better protection for the crop.
“With a grant from the Federal Government, Glen Industries have already re-covered one of the greenhouses, installed an amenities block and have got their old cool room up and running. It’s an excellent initiative as they are recycling much of their old equipment from their commercial flower venture,” Mr Marshall said.
Mr Marshall said other community organisations were on the GIG committee and plans were in the pipeline to involve groups such as Pathfinders and Glen Innes Severn Council community services.
“Glen Innes TAFE students are also building paths, decking and access ramp to the amenities block. Eventually they will have five greenhouses set up for vegetable production and an open area towards the back of the block will be used for melon and pumpkins vines,” Mr Marshall said.
“It’s a great initiative and excellent partnership between these various groups who are focused on improving the lives of those people living with a disability and the disadvantaged.”
Glen Industries GIG co-ordinator Karen Donnelly said the first stage of their project was just the beginning of a great new partnership.
“Once we get all the infrastructure sorted and up and running, we can expand the garden. We will eventually have five greenhouses re-covered,” Ms Donnelly said.
“Although this won’t make the greenhouses frost proof it will give us a longer growing season and we will stick to growing seasonal vegetables.”