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Businessman says vegie gardens could boost economy

Backyard produce - Director of Stickit Rural Training Group has proposed the idea that vegetable gardens could be built in backyards and the produce sold to the region. Pictured with students Abby Hansen and James Redding.
Backyard produce - Director of Stickit Rural Training Group has proposed the idea that vegetable gardens could be built in backyards and the produce sold to the region. Pictured with students Abby Hansen and James Redding. Valerie Horton

COULD vegie gardens and solar panels improve the Fraser Coast economy and tackle unemployment? A Fraser Coast farming entrepreneur certainly thinks so.

Maryborough primary industries teacher Brendan Condon has started a business venture, linking agricultural trainees to people who want vegie gardens and solar panels installed and maintained in their backyards.

Those who wanted the service would pay a fee for the work from the trainees.

Mr Condon, director of Stickit Rural Training, said the end goal of the venture was for the vegetables to be sold back to the Fraser Coast community, and the solar power sold into the grid.

"I want to save and recycle household money" Mr Condon said.

Mr Condon said the venture would be a great way to create jobs for unemployed people on the Fraser Coast, as well as boost the region's economy through local produce and power.

Backyard produce - Director of Stickit Rural Training Group has proposed the idea that vegetable gardens could be built in backyards and the produce sold to the region.
Backyard produce - Director of Stickit Rural Training Group has proposed the idea that vegetable gardens could be built in backyards and the produce sold to the region. Valerie Horton

When asked for his thoughts on the venture, Mayor Chris Loft said small schemes like the Positive Backyard Farmers had great potential.

"It could increase clean and green produce grown in the region which could be an attraction, create income and bring people together," Cr Loft said.

"Our regional markets are already offering fresh fruit and vegetables and this could increase the variety. It might even lead to the creation of a co-op where produce could be put into bigger consignments to be sent to the Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne markets. I wish them well in the venture."

Cr Loft said residents could sell excess produce from their yard produce.

"There are some regulations, such as selling produce whole," he said.

"If you wanted to cut up fruit and vegetables such as pumpkins and watermelon, they could obtain a food licence.

"We'd also like people to take into account car parking and safety when setting up their stalls. The complaints Council receives about produce stalls centres around people buying produce are parking on footpaths or across driveways or about people crossing busy roads to get to the stall."

For more information, email positivebackyardfarmers@yahoo.com.

Topics:  fcbusiness fcemployment fcenvironment



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