Story and photos Eve Jeffery
The Living Community Festival held at the Mullumbimby Community Gardens yesterday celebrated not only the exceptional space created for the community, but the news the gardens have been named the 2014 Gardening Australia Community Garden of the Year.
The day of activities, workshops and seminars was officially opened with a parade from the council chambers and the rain did a pretty good job of staying in the clouds for most of the day.
Perennial plant lover Costa Georgiadis, from the ABC’s Gardening Australia program, was on hand as a keynote speaker, bamboo sculpture judge, agricultural activist and general spreader of thought seeds and fun throughout the gardens all day.
Costa said that the Mullum event is really something unique and special.
‘This is the second time I have been at this festival’, he said.
‘This is a wonderful festival. It’s kind of funny when you are in a town, and I see it everywhere I go, it’s really easy to understate and undervalue what your local events mean. Not locally, not regionally, but nationally.
‘I go to these almost week-in week-out and lots of different scales of things and the thing that I see repeated is that, you come to a region and people are fired up and love what they are doing but, sometimes they don’t fully appreciate how valuable their event is.
‘I mean, just marching down that street, for me, that’s an old value which has kind of almost been buried. All of these old fairs, all of these old days where people march down the street, usually an agricultural show, and all the people came out. It’s at those points where you actually see the community. All the different clubs come out to march. I look at that and say, “Don’t lose that. That is so human”. It’s such a tangible thing.
‘I have talked about this festival around the country. For me the highlight here is that you are walking down the street and there is barely anyone on the street because everyone is in the march! I think that sums it up.’