A big THANK YOU to everyone who came and supported the Farm at the Winter Solstice Festival this year. Whether you were a program contributor, a behind-the-scenes extraordinaire, a social-media sharer or showed up to add to the fun, you helped continue a tradition that has been celebrated by our organisation for over 25 years!
Coordinating a festival like the Winter Solstice Festival during COVID times was always going to be a challenge, but the success of this year's event is a testament to the resilience, skills and experience of our community members. Thanks for making this year's Winter Solstice Festival extra special.
If you have any photos, highlights or feedback you would like to share about the event, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!
We hope you enjoy this edition of our E-News containing events, workshops, an item about the Farms evolution and a special item about bamboo cultivation!
This year’s NAIDOC poster features this stunning artwork titled Care For Country by Maggie-Jean Douglas – a Gubbi Gubbi artist from South East Queensland.
City Farm Nursery - supporting NAIDOC 2021
City Farm Nursery will launch its' Native Plant Donation Program on Sunday 11 July, as part of the NAIDOC week celebrations. Please come to our launch and donate a native plant to local First Nations Communities.
To find out more about NAIDOC 2021 and other wonderful events around the country, please click here.
Markets during COVID Lock Downs
The Northey Street Organic Farmers Market will always be open to sell essential organic produce to people, even during a COVID lock down, pending other directives from Queensland Health.
We will have QR Code signage up at entrances from 9 July, for people to check in and we encourage people to wear masks when directed to from Queensland Health.
We hope everyone continues to feel safe in our open air market and to continue to support our local organic farmers who are committed every Sunday to bring you freshly harvested local organic produce. What better thing for your health and that of the planet!
We are happy to let you know that the Farm will be running a pie and sausage roll stall with organic pies, including vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options. With the Chai Cafe serving top quality vegan breakfasts with egg and cheese options, and other food stall holders selling unique takeaway food like agadashi sticks, italian pizza, vegan breakfast and baked goods from the organic bakers, you are totally covered for delicious organic food to enjoy while here or if you need to get something to takeaway.
We also love to support our ethical stall holders who are artists, makers and craft specialists committed to sustainability.
See you Sundays!
Permaculture Design Course
This unique course, delivered over 16 weeks in Brisbane, gives you the knowledge and skills to observe and design from natural patterns to create productive gardens & properties. You will learn how to grow your own food, apply appropriate technologies, use resources wisely, build on living systems and rebuild communities.
Build Resilience through Connectivity
Facilitate Regeneration of the Earth
Create Abundance through Design
The Permaculture Design Course (PDC) builds from its foundation in ethics and design principles to develop strategies giving you the techniques and tools to inspire critical thinking.
Our skilled educators will give you the attention you need with more time for questions and conversations. We will dive deep into our subjects and have time to discuss your personal projects.
YOU WILL LEARN
the history of permaculture and agriculture and the foundational concepts of the permaculture ethics and design principles
to design from ecological pattern literacy, systems thinking, using Ethics and Design principles, designing from the whole, differentiated into parts
to use the Scale of Permanence to give realistic outcomes for any design
climate analogues and how varied micro-climates affect your site
the patterns of our intent and that of our landscapes, elements and their functional connections in your design to minimize waste
to savour our soils: soil biology, amendments, uses and putting it all together
about trees and forests and how we can integrate them into our systems
how we can cultivate our ecology to produce food based on our unique needs by including annuals, perennials, forest gardens and animals into our systems
to enhance our communities and local economies through social permaculture design
a practical understanding of the design process through group and individual design work
For more information and bookings please click HERE
We are taking bookings for tours and school visits. As bookings are not paid for until after each visit, there is no financial commitment to make a tentative booking.
For more information and bookings for school visits, click HERE
For more information and bookings for group tours, click HERE
We run free farm tours on Tuesday mornings for groups of 4 to 8 by arrangement only. This is a great way to learn more about Northey Street City Farm. Please contact Ronni: email@example.com if you would like to arrange a guided tour.
We also have a free farm tour for individuals on the first Tuesday of each month. Just head to the Chai Cafe by 09:30.
Ko, Farm Manager
One of my favourite annual activities is to harvest and process bamboo as it brings people together, and it is such a great skill sharing session.
It's a lot of work but it pays off as bamboo yields so many different products. It's a relatively untapped resource; too often we see running bamboo spreading to native bushland, on the side of the road, in council parks completely unharvested. Bamboo stakes and poles are often being sold at large hardware stores, imported from southeast Asia when they are actually growing rampantly on our own roadsides of Brisbane.
It's important to note that in its natural habitat, and in a balanced ecosystem, most plant species are controlled by herbivores (insects, mammals), disease, competition, etc. In societies where bamboo has been grown for a long time, the resource is better integrated into day to day living and people know how to utilise it, whether it be for construction or culinary.
At Northey Street, bamboo is generally harvested during the dry season (anytime between May-Sep) and it's important to choose ones that are at least a few years old because the new growth (1st year growth) is prone to splitting and won't keep well for construction. The new growth is indicated by leaf sheaths on the lower nodes, and often have white powdery substance so they're easily identifiable. Make sure you use gloves and long sleeves as the hair on the bamboo can irritate your skin, and the bamboo fibre is extremely sharp!
For those that are interested, I encourage you to do your own research on the harvesting season and its reason, most appropriate treatment method, maintenance, etc.
Bamboo is often planted by those that have no intention of harvesting it, but planted due to its fast-growing nature (i.e. screening an undesirable view, pollution, and noise barrier) and for their aesthetics. For its various by-products, it's also often favoured by permaculture practitioners, and the like.
It's important to think of ongoing management if you want to plant bamboo. When bamboo isn't harvested annually, it gets harder for ongoing maintenance as the new growth will impede access to the mature ones. Generally, for clumping bamboo, new growth emerges outwards in a concentric pattern, which means the new growth will often grow on the outside of the perimeter, so without regular pruning and harvesting it can quickly get out of hand.
Once a year, I walk around the farm and spray paint the ones that need to be removed. The reasons could include for general maintenance, to give more space to new growth, and to use it around the farm for various activities (i.e. Winter Solstice!).
As you can see from the photos, bamboo for construction should be cut as close as possible to the bottom, and flush with the node to prevent water pooling between the nodes. Harvested bamboo poles are processed by removing lateral branches (for making stakes), and sometimes the internal nodes knocked off using a steel rebar.
In an ideal situation, you'd dry the bamboo poles in a semi-shaded area (never direct sun as it can cause cracking) for a few weeks.
Sometimes these poles are treated using heat (fire in our case) so that carbohydrate is "cooked" (or crystalise) to make it less palatable to the borers. We've also used beeswax mixed with gum turpentine to treat bamboo at the farm after cooking the sugars.
There is also the 'water leaching' method where we wash out or ferment the sugars that would otherwise attract the borers. We haven't done this method yet but something I'd like to try this year in Breakfast Creek!
We've also tried using boric acid and borax to treat the poles, but we have moved away from this method of treatment as we wanted to explore more sustainable products. Strips of bamboo are made using a bamboo splitter. The splitters can probably be welded together using old steel, but I got mine from Japan.
Whilst there is a bit of maintenance, bamboo offers such an amazing array of products. It offers beautiful screening, noise, and pollution barrier (one study by Leeuwen (2016) showed that a bamboo barrier of 5 metres in height and a width of 6 metres offers a similar noise-reducing effect of a 3-metre-high solid wall), construction materials, musical instruments, art and craft supplies, food, and so much more!
A Historical Perspective of the Farm
Richard Nielsen, Management Committee
The Farm has come a long way along a sometimes tortuous path. From being almost completely voluntary for the first five years, with a wildly fluctuating but strong participation base, our paid employee hours are greater than volunteer hours ever were, and the built infrastructure has gone from zero to the relatively mammoth proportions of today and still growing.
The transition has been from solely gardening, to events, to a nursery, to a market, to a market garden, to Work for the Dole, to Community Jobs programs, to TAFE based training programs in horticulture and permaculture, to Green Jobs, to Permaculture Design Courses, to a full on education program, to a very large and successful Sunday market and nursery, and now with Covid almost under control, we are getting back to events.
We began with incorporation way back in 95, and have successfully maintained the incorporation structure ever since, with a regular rollover of the management committee members. We went through a massive management restructure in 2012, leading to our current three sector structure of Admin/Education, Markets, and Events, each with a three tier structure of manger, coordinators and staff.
Did you know you can get a 10% discount at our Nursery by becoming a member of our Farm? We love to see people supporting the Farm by becoming members. You can become a member on our website, at the Nursery or by contacting the Office on 07 3857 8775 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Farm does not rely on Government Funding for its operations. We operate as a social enterprise running the City Farm Nursery, Sunday Organic Farmers Market, and Permaculture Education. We appreciate the financial support of our community, if you are able please donate by visiting our website.
We also have an Australian First Nations Scholarship Fund and if you wish to donate to this please donate HERE and then contact Adnan, E: email@example.com to confirm this is where you would like your donation to land.
As a not for profit charity, all donations over $2 are tax deductible.
You can get involved with our vibrant Farm community by becoming a volunteer. Volunteer areas include farming, nursery, construction and kitchen. We also occasionally need people with professional or trade skills (even off-site help, if you can’t get to the farm): building, electrical, plumbing, welding, accounting, legal, to name a few.
Northey Street City Farm’s Allotment Gardens are the perfect opportunity to get started! Grow your own organic food, learn from others and share in this wonderful inner city community! If you would like to put your name down for an allotment please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy Growing everyone.
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