Latest News

Delicious, pest-free food starts with healthy, fertile soil!

Coffs Regional Community Gardens was the ideal place to host the GET GROWING workshops run by Ian Earth’s The Gourmet School on the weekend of the 28th and 29th January 2023. Ian is a fantastic speaker and manages to engage with everyone, no matter what their level of experience and background, and opens up the fascinating microbial world of soil!

Saturday’s workshop was about techniques for creating a low maintenance but highly productive garden, growing food either for the first time or to enjoy more success cultivating healthy, fertile food garden. It started with the basics of practical planning vegetable garden design, onto how to build up the best soil for vegetable growing along with answering specific questions from gardeners on how to grow their favourite crops.

And then Sunday’s workshop went through the process of assessing soil health and diagnosing what’s needed to optimise conditions and improve performance. Having the correct soil composition not only creates a better crop, but also a much tastier crop! Not only that, your plants will out compete weeds and resist garden pests. Participants were able to bring along their own soil samples for assessment and we learnt a lot about what the perfect soil should include.

Ian was able to use the Community Gardens to demonstrate his principles practically. Participants learned about planting seedlings and the value of good mulch, as well as useful methods to control weeds. By analysing the composition and chemical pH of your soil you can plan how to improve it by what should be added and the benefits of green manure, which would have made a workshop on it’s own!

Ian was really knowledgeable  and able to answer everyone’s gardening questions. He was a mine of information and no doubt all attendees would have gone home to review their gardens with fresh eyes!

New Years Garden Party January 2023

On Saturday 7 January, members and friends of the Coffs Regional Community Gardens had a social event to welcome in the New Year. Organised by Natasha and Digby, new members who joined in 2022 after moving to Coffs from Sydney, the gathering allowed a number of new and existing members to meet each other, mingle and chat in a relaxed environment outside of working bees, committee meetings or in passing as each work on their plots. 
In all about 25 people attended, including 9 kids of various ages from toddlers to teens. A kids craft station was set up with painting, colouring and felting activities available, but the younger children spent most of their time exploring the area, climbing trees and making friends with ladybirds and other tiny critters. 
The Gardens sponsored a great spread of ingredients for wood fired pizzas. Phil got the pizza oven fired up and everyone took turns at creating pizzas to share around. Phil managed the cooking and Digby completed the production line by slicing and passing on the finished goods. All were delicious. Members brought home made olives, cakes and biscuits and the atmosphere was friendly and welcoming. Conversations primarily revolved around finding out about each other, how members got involved in the Gardens and food! 
It was the first Gardens event of its kind in the memory of the people who attended, many of whom joined in recent years. Needless to say, the past couple of years have made it difficult to host parties such as this and everyone enjoyed the opportunity. The shared responsibility of preparing pizzas and sharing the cooked result is representative of the Gardens philosophy and culture.  Feedback was very positive and unanimous in wishes to do it again soon, and regularly. 

Garden committee voted in. Sept 2022

It was great to see such a good turn out of members to the Coffs Harbour Community Gardens Annual General Meeting on Sunday. A new committee was voted in consisting of some old and some new members, and we are all excited and invigorated for the year ahead.

At the meeting we reflected over achievements from the past year, and members who have retired or moved away, but welcomed new members, especially families that have recently moved to the area and who are keen to use the garden.

Our President continues to be Phil Connor and our Vice President is now Lara Reading, as well as continuing her role as Secretary. Phil has been President for many years and is keen to hand over the ropes within the next 6 months. Our Treasurer is Bec Bargon (ongoing), and our new Garden Coordinator is Bob Smith, and we voted on the following Ordinary Members: Dorothea Froehlich; Simon Lian; Debbie Goodside and Natashia Naude. Congratulations guys! 

Check out our latest article in the local and on-line Coffs Coast News of The Area – News of the Area article

Ever thought of joining your local community garden? Now’s your chance! Aug 2022


On Sunday 4th September 11.00am, the Coffs Regional Community Gardens (CRCG) members old and new are invited to attend our annual general meeting (AGM) when the new committee is elected for the next 12 months. The committee just has to meet at least 3 times a year and is responsible for overseeing how the garden is managed and communicating with our members.

The past couple of years have given us a few challenges, in the form of COVID restrictions and major rain events. Despite this, members have managed the garden responsibly with patience and energy and the space is functioning well, thanks to the hard work of a group of volunteers.   

There have been 2 successful Coffs Garden plant sale mornings, raising funds for the garden which will remain a regular seasonal event, and working bees at the gardens have seen a new shed erected and our rather dilapidated compost bins relocated, as well as an on-going project to Hugelculture the Mandala garden. The garden is also the magical space for Monday morning yoga sessions.

The garden partnered with the Coffs Council through their living coast sustainability project, and completed 3 workshops at the garden over the past year – Native Bees (facilitated by Jim Higgins); Plant propagation and raising seedlings (facilitated by Peter Green); and Integrated Pest management (facilitated by Phil Bowden). There were other workshops this year, including Midwaste workshop on composting; a Soil Heath workshop facilitated by Ian Thomas, and Exotic Pests & Diseases workshop facilitated by DPI.

The Coffs community garden is a place for promoting the permaculture ethical principles of caring for mother earth, caring for people, growing and sharing organic food, and growing healthy. The garden also provides educational and information resources to empower people to live and promote sustainability, plant regeneration, organic gardening, soil health and biodiversity, and provides a wonderful space for gardening therapy and as a venue for hosting meetings and community events.

For more information about becoming a member or about events going on at the garden go to or Facebook

Check out our latest article in the local and on-line Coffs Coast News of The Area –…/coffs_coast_news_of_the_area_2…/10

2021/2022 was a particularly busy year!

Work commences to Hugelculture the Mandala garden! July 2022

It might take us as much as 5 years – but the work has begun! We are improving and raising the soil level in the Mandela garden using the Hugelculture (or hugelkultur) method!

Put simply, hugelkultur is a centuries-old, traditional way of building a garden bed from rotten logs and plant debris. These mound shapes are created by marking out an area for a raised bed, clearing the land, and then heaping up woody material (that’s ideally already partially rotted) topped with compost and soil.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is IMG20220703105919-1024x768.jpg

Garden members, hard at work


Tribute to Mike Daniell, by Steve McGrane

Although this is undoubtedly a sad day, we are here to celebrate the joyous life of my/our friend/husband/brother or colleague Mikey. It is my honour to share the time I spent with Mikey and the moments and pleasures I will never forget and to bring back your own memories of your time with the gentle Mikey. And, a more loving and adoring couple you will never meet, Mike and Rhonda. They met 51 years ago, in a little supermarket in Rosehill and married for 48 years. Mike adores Rhonda, and Rhonda the same, that lives on forever…

I met Mikey around 16 years ago at a CROPPO meeting, a Coffs Harbour based organisation for organic growers. And to Graham and Elise Knoxs, Mikey was always No5 (in-joke, Mikey will understand)! Although Mikey and I met at CROPPO, it was later during the birth of Coffs Community Garden, that I really got to know Mikey as a force of nature, literally,. Mike was one of the original committee members. He served for many long years through thick and thin, being made a life member of the garden. From the day I met him I was fascinated by this kindred spirit with an obvious high level botanical knowledge, an inquiring mind on everything biological, gained from years of formal and informal study along with extensive professional experience in such esteemed institutions as Que Gardens London,and Sydney Botanic Gardens, to mention a few. Mikey’s absolute passion for plants and animals is legendary and talking with Mikey, was like having David Attenborough in your lounge room.  Mikey’s articulate and accurate discussion about all things biological was an engaging experience that I always looked forward to sharing, and I miss already.  Mikey and I shared many passions. I remember that on a number of occasions Mikey wanted to get his own aquaponics systems at home, always asking how I could help, but every occasion, Rhonda was behind his shoulder, shaking her head, fearing yet another project! Sadly Mikey never got his aquaponics system, but I’m sure you’re up there Mikey, right now, badgering God for an aquaponics system, Mikey is such a determined soul, look out lord!

Because, if you wanted something done Mikey’s your man, he could fix anything, with meticulous care.   Research was his forte and he relished the chance to be involved in any project that meant digging deep, literally. Share a task with Mikey and you knew it would get done. He excelled in coming up with ideas and had solutions to everything. Most of all, I hold dearly, the passion he had for his own garden and the joy he expressed whenever a new flower or fruit emerged. You can’t mention Mikey’s passions without mentioning “Miniscule”. That is a French animation about insects, a passion to this day, that Mikey and I still share even though hes moved on to greener pastures. Speaking of greener pastures, Mikey’s own garden remains a tribute to botanical collections and he was always so pleased to present you with cuttings or potted up plants he’s lovely nurtured.  If Mikey gave you a propagated plant you knew he enjoyed your company. Mikey is a legend and along with Rhondie, at Coffs Harbour Community Garden, and both life members in recognition of their tireless work. At every Community Garden Workshop, you’d find Mike and Rhonda there at the crack of dawn, and still there long after the event. Mikey was that type of guy that supported anyone that needed a hand. All he asked in return, was a small amount of appreciation, and he gave you the world. While the world seems to be crumbling, It’s a comfort and reassurance that people like Mikey have never shifted from their morals and principles of human kindness. I’m not saying Mike was an angel, he was certainly capable of dispensing direct displeasure whenever disrespect was shown, though his sense of loyalty and honour lives on in my memory. Some people leave this planet a better place, some just enjoy the ride, some give their all, Mikey was all of this and more. Rest in peace Mikey.