KOORALBYN Community Garden has a new manager after local coffee van man Ray Hughes accepted the nomination.
The gardens are where the monthly community crop swap is held and crop swap coordinator Nicky Convine said Mr Hughes was the perfect choice to manage the garden.
"We are merging the crop swap and the gardens," she said.
"It only makes sense for the crop swap and the community gardens to join forces and become one.
"Ray has a permaculture design certificate which he did with Geoff Lawton in 2017."
"In 2020 they decided to open their front paddock to their local community to grow their own produce and also launched a produce swap Facebook page, which was very successful.
"Since moving to Kooralbyn just over a year ago, Ray has already established 10 wicking beds at their home as well as creating a food forest with swales for water catchment."
Mr Hughes said he and his wife Julie had established a community garden before.
"In 2017 we set up the community garden at Witheren," he said.
"I became involved with the group at Kooralbyn as a way to be part of the community and also because I went to Lismore after the recent floods I saw the devastation.
"There were people who had no homes, their gardens were destroyed and they couldn't find fresh food to eat."
Mr Hughes said the project at Kooralbyn was successful, largely thanks to a dedicated group of volunteer gardeners who turned up three times a week to work in the garden.
Kooralbyn Community Group president Adrian Sandell agreed that Mr Hughes was the right choice.
"Ray has been a real asset to the garden and has made a huge difference in the relatively short time he's been there," he said.
Ms Convine said the community would celebrate the decision at the town's monthly crop swap tomorrow.
"This space will now be a place where we witness what is happening at the gardens, what we can purchase from there and to do our best to encourage visitors from our community," she said.
"Everyone is welcome to be a part of these gardens. If you would like to know more, please reach out.
"Come celebrate with us this Saturday, there is so much to be excited about. Let's dust ourselves off as we welcome the future and new beginnings."
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