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Byron Shire
July 23, 2024

Bruns garden for community under threat

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Toni Storer just wants to help feed her community for free. Photo Jeff Dawson

Bruns local Toni Storer thought one way to help her neighbours and other locals to survive the economic downturn was to stop mowing and weeding the Council strip at the front of her house and to pop in a veggie garden.

‘A friend of mine was saying how expensive vegetables are, $17 a kilo for tomatoes, and I thought why not put a veggie patch out the front that anyone in the community can access,’ Toni told The Echo.

‘Gardening is something I love doing, so it just seemed like a good idea in these tough times.’

However, a recent complaint from a neighbour has meant that Byron Shire Council has told her to remove the garden.

‘I’ve lived in this house for 62 years and I was trying to be community-minded and neighbourly,’ she explained.

‘The garden is neat, clean, there are no dangerous sharp objects sticking out. You can sit on the edge of it if you need a seat for a while. There’s even cat and dog grass for the animals.

‘I put in vegetables that people would most likely use like lettuce, tomatoes, cauliflower, broccolini – nothing fancy. We might use one per cent, the rest is for people to help themselves to. They can take as much or little as they want. I just don’t understand why someone would object to that?’

Toni said she hoped the people objecting to the community garden can come and talk to her and work out what their concerns are.

‘Council staff said if there had been no complaints then they wouldn’t have had to ask me to remove the community veggie garden.’

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  1. Toni Storer, good onya! ‘Verge Gardens’, there should be more of it.
    Costa on ABC’s Gardening Australia show is a champion for Verge Gardens. Making spaces productive brings neighbours and community closer together, a no-brainer win win.

  2. Wouldn’t it have been easier for the complaining neighbour to have a chat to Toni instead of running to council… Or is it just easier for the Nimby to sit on a keyboard.. (like I am right now).

  3. Why does the Byron Shire Council respond to one complaint by directing Toni to remove her garden? Why does “No!” carry so much weight? Surely some form of mediation could be undertaken. I am sure there are many people who would support her initiative. Let’s speak up for verge gardens

  4. Can the community complain to council about Toni being pressured to remove the garden. Surely that’s the greater offense.


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