Grow your own food as global fertiliser prices rise Coffs Coast by News Of The Area - Modern Media - January 6, 2022January 6, 2022 Peas glorious peas grown at home by Ian Thomas, The Gourmet Garden School founder. A GLOBAL shortage of fertilisers is driving up food prices. Higher gas prices are pushing up fertiliser costs and affecting food prices worldwide. Advertise with News of The Area today. It’s worth it for your business. Message us. Phone us – (02) 4981 8882. Email us – [email protected] Fertilisers, such as the commonly used urea, require large amounts of gas in their production. The increase in gas prices in recent months has been triggered by several factors which have increased demand, including the unlocking of economies during the pandemic and reduced wind or rain for renewable power. This has all led to a sharp rise in the cost of producing fertiliser, with the price of ammonia up 255% on last year. What can we do as individuals living on the Coffs Coast and its Hinterland to shore ourselves up against food shortages on our supermarket shelves? There’s no time better than summer 2021/2 to start growing your own food, buying from local home-based market gardeners and roadside stalls. Whether you have a garden or not, if you are a resident in the Coffs LGA, you can start gardening at one of the region’s community gardens. In Central Coffs we have the Coffs Regional Community Gardens (CRCG), a not-for-profit organisation of volunteers working to establish productive, well-managed community gardens in our region. Members are local residents from a wide cross-section of the community, including representatives from community groups and individuals with a passion for local food and sustainable living. CRCG President Phil Connor told News Of The Area, “The 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 ourselves. “The garden provides educational and information resources to empower people to live and promote sustainability, plant regeneration, biodynamics and biodiversity. “The garden also offers a wonderful space for gardening therapy and as a venue for hosting meetings and community events.” Find the gardens at Combine St Reserve, behind 51 Combine St, Coffs Harbour. Pop along to their next Eat and Greet on 6 January 2022 anytime between 11am and 2pm. For enquiries, email [email protected]. There’s Community Gardens in South Coffs, Bellingen, Woopi…just Google Community Gardens Coffs Harbour and have a peruse. Raleigh’s Gourmet Garden School founder, Ian Thomas is a big advocate for home grown food. Ian told News Of The Area, “For most people it’s not about self-sufficiency, it’s more about having food security with some easy to grow fresh herbs, leafy greens, tomatoes and beans. “Start with improving the soil and these foods just grow themselves thereafter. “Once you’ve tasted homegrown herbs or an heirloom tomato you’ll be spoiled forever, and shop-bought foods just don’t seem as appealing. “Grown well, homegrown food is more flavoursome and nutritious, so there’s no tastier way to stay healthy.” By Andrea FERRARI A lovely pair of leeks – grown in Raleigh soil at The Gourmet Garden School. Coffs Community Garden produce grown by Dorothea Froehlich, committee member. Coffs Community Garden member Rosie amongst the veggies. Photo: Dorothea Froehlich.