BAFFLING: At front, Keith Spearing, back from left, Tony Meldrum, Mal Lowe and Kevin Strong, pictured at the Ballina Community Garden where a number of items have been stolen.
BAFFLING: At front, Keith Spearing, back from left, Tony Meldrum, Mal Lowe and Kevin Strong, pictured at the Ballina Community Garden where a number of items have been stolen. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Thefts hard to understand

GARDENERS who have put in countless hours at the Ballina Community Gardens are reeling after the theft of some of their equipment.

The garden - near the corner of Swift and Clarence Sts - is kept locked.

But thieves gained access to the land and in recent weeks have stolen two wheelbarrows, four bales of sugar-cane mulch, three lots of bird netting, a wheelie bin and an old barbecue cover.

President of Ballina Community Gardens, Tony Meldrum, said it was disappointing that someone had stolen items from the group.

"We come here and work the gardens because we love it," he said.

"We've only been going for two years, but we've already done quite a lot.

"The security is pretty good - we keep it locked up - but we don't want to have to put barbed wire up every

where.

"The stuff that's been stolen is not expensive, but it is just frustrating for us.

"We've filed a police report and we just want people in the community to be aware and if they see anything to contact the police."

Keith Spearing is a member of Ballina Community Gardens and lives right next to the land.

"Someone has stolen my bloody netting off the tomatoes," he said.

"Who would do that? I just don't understand it."

Members of Ballina Community Gardens have been working hard to transform their patch of land, which was established on public land between Fripp and Saunders ovals two years ago.

The garden has private plots which are leased by members, shared community garden beds, raised garden beds, a fruit orchard, shadehouse, toolshed and 11 hens.

Mr Meldrum said they had plans for more, including an outdoor kitchen.

GOT A GREEN THUMB?

  • Ballina Community Gardens meet for working bees on Tuesdays and Sundays from 9am until 12pm.
  • Membership is $20 a year.

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