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Northey Street City Farm E-News, April 2020

During March we have continued with robust, timely and ever-positive responses to Government guidelines and restrictions around COVID-19.  The Markets have remained open during this period thanks to a very hard working and dedicated team and collegial shoppers. The Nursery is powering along and we continue to think BIG about the future. We are delighted to see the global movement towards home grown food and hope you are inspired by this too!

We have some inspiration for your home garden and be sure to check out our Mothers Day competition under Markets news!

We acknowledge that some of you may be doing it tough at the moment with COVID-19 restrictions and job losses.  If so, we encourage you to reach out to friends and family or one of the warm, friendly and understanding people at the end of these phonelines:

Lifeline: Call 13 11 14
Beyond Blue: Call 1300 224 636
Headspace: Call 1800 650 890


The Management Committee would like to extend their gratitude and appreciation to all of our customers and patrons who have continued to support our Market and Nursery during these difficult times. We hope everyone is discovering a new found resilience and using this time to connect with what really matters. Tending your gardens, building deeper connections with family and friends, enjoying the emergence of nature as our human pursuits take a back seat. 

A big shout out to our amazing adaptive staff and volunteers who have gone above and beyond to continue supporting people and keeping everyone safe. We are very proud of the way in which our Markets so promptly and effectively implemented the Government's safety regulations in our public space. The launch of our new Online store for Market produce and Nursery shopping our Education program's delivery of webinars and development of new workshops for when we return. The tireless work of our Farm staff to take up the many responsibilities of our isolating volunteers in keeping the site and gardens in tip top shape.

We are monitoring the on going changes to the Government restrictions and will follow this advice as we gradually come back. We look forward to getting back to "normal" by creating a new more sustainable and supportive normal, based on our learnings from this period

Dick Copeman, Management Committee Coordinator


The NORTHEY ST ORGANIC MARKET  is still open every Sunday for you to get your weekly essential organic groceries.  We would like to thank all the stall holders who remained open during these difficult times and to all our wonderful patrons who keep supporting their local organic farmers and small ethical businesses to keep afloat.
We look forward to seeing some of your favourite stalls returning and more of the Farm opening as Queensland restrictions start lifting.

While we still have to monitor numbers for social distancing, we are thankful that people can come to our market and picnic on the lawn! We are encouraging everyone to "Shop and Go to Keep the Flow". After you shop, go for a walk outside the marketplace, along the river or neighbouring parks to socialise while you exercise or picnic together on the lawned area while complying to government regulations: "You must only be joined by the people who usually live in your household or one other person who doesn’t live with you." It's so lovely to sit and eat your takeaway organic breakfast or warm chai in the sun! 

We ask for you to keep your dogs at home as the markets are restricted to the bitumen car park at the moment, space is limited and health regulations do not permit dogs into food and produce stalls. 

Thanks for being kind to each other and we wish everyone and the planet good health.


Steve Hodgson and Jane Houstonn! 

Steve and Jane both won a $100 Northey St City Farm Hamper for sharing a photo of their Easter Market Baskets!

Share a photo of your mum in the garden and win a Northey St City Farm $100 Hamper!

Share your photo to the City Farm Nursery Instagram and Facebook Page with the hashtag #muminthegarden, and the image with the most likes win!

Competition will close on Mother's Day Sunday the 10th of May at 11am! 

Get your mum in the garden!


What a great Opportunity to spend some time in your Garden. Nurturing the soil, mother earth, and ourselves. A chance to decompress while re-connecting with nature, and for a lot of us right now - Our only connection to nature.

Our hours have changed as we adapt to our current climate -

OPEN: FRI / SAT 8:30am - 12:30pm SUN - 6:30am - 12:30pm

CLOSED: Mon - Thurs

We are excited to announce we have launched our online shop! Visit our website and browse our store for the latest seeds and Herb and Vegetable Punnet availability. This is especially great for vulnerable people. We can post seeds out to you, everything else can be picked up during our trading days - Friday to Sunday.

As it cools down and we move in to Brassica season it's time to think about pest management. Interplant companion seedlings of nasturtiums, borage, and salvias to bring beneficial insects in. Grow tansy, petunias and marigolds to deter pests (amongst many more!) and nematodes in soil. Watering in the morning at the base of the plant is ideal in the cooler months, this will help prevent mould and mildew on the leaves. Check underneath leaves regularly and gently wipe away any aphids, scale or grubs. Repeat every few days or weekly.

We are currently not taking any BYO jars for honey or selling any composting worms until Covid - 19 has passed. City Farm Nursery urges you to Please Read the Safety Procedures before entering and shopping in the Nursery. We want you to be safe.

Thank you so much for all your support and we hope to see you soon 🐝🌻

                                    *** ONLINE STORE LAUNCHED ***

Our online store is now open from Tues 5pm to Thursday 10am.  

Click HERE to order or explore. 

You can buy Nursery Products or an Organic Food Box online now! We put your order aside so you don’t miss out. Nursery Products can be picked up from City Farm Nursery. Seeds can be posted. Organic Food Boxes can be picked up and delivered Sunday. Great for those in the community who are vulnerable, like the elderly, indigenous Australians over 50, or people with asthma and the like, that need to isolate. You can find all the details on the online store. Every week we will be adding more products for you. Enjoy!



View all upcoming workshops and courses.

NB: onsite workshops are dependent on changes to social distancing requirements.

Connecting to Nature Webinar Series for Families

Tuesdays, 19 May to 23 June 2020

Outdoor Learning and the Curriculum: A Webinar for Teachers

05 June 2020

Mushroom Cultivation

27 June 2020

Retrosuburbia Unleashed

27 June 2020


'Connecting to Nature' webinar series for families: Tuesday mornings, May 19th to June 23rd

With lots of time at home and opportunities for nature time presented to many of us, Northey Street City Farm is offering a 'Connecting to Nature' webinar series for families. This series will provide ideas, activities and challenges that will help connect you and your children to nature and foster a sense of care for the Earth. In each session, there will be some content and inspiration provided for the week ahead, and time for sharing stories of what everyone has done in the week that has passed. Challenges will include identifying birds that visit your backyard and their calls; making a ‘land art’ creation; safely building and lighting a campfire; doing regular “magic spots”; camping out in the backyard; learning about some of the plants in your neighbourhood; trying out nature journalling; learning something new about First Nations knowledge in your bioregion and more!

Facebook event HERE.

Tickets HERE

Outdoor Learning and the Curriculum: A Professional Development Webinar for Educators

We are excited to be offering an online version of the Outdoor Learning and the Curriculum workshop for teachers on June 5th. In term 4 we will be offering the full day workshop at the farm.

Webinar participants will:

  • Learn how outdoor experiential activities can be linked to the curriculum, and be introduced to approaches that support students have the knowledge, understanding and skills to engage in creating a more sustainable world.
  • Receive a recording of the webinar, a resources list, activity descriptions with links to the Australian curriculum, and a certificate for 2 hours of professional development.

Facebook event HERE.

Tickets for the webinar are available HERE.

Eventbrite charges an administrative fee for all courses, to avoid these fees you can book directly through Northey Street City Farm by emailing

 Please note our phone is unattended until further notice but we ARE responding to your emails.

From the Northey Street Honey House

Bees are truly extraordinary. They are amazingly dutiful. In the summer season they live for no more than seven weeks. They emerge from their larval cells as fully grown slightly furry bees, and get straight into it. First off they attend to the queen, feeding her, and cleaning and polishing her brood cells, preparing them for her to lay eggs. The queen inspects the cells and if they are not clean, the cleaners have to do it again. They next become nursemaids for the larvae still growing in the brood cells, feeding them honey and pollen and royal jelly from glands in their heads. When parasites are present they prescribe antibacterial honey for the rest of the hive. At about 12 days they start secreting wax, and become hive builders, taking pollen and the honey from the foraging bees and storing it in the wax cells that they construct. At about three weeks they go out on their first training flight, doing playful figures of 8 about the hive, orientating themselves to the location of the hive with respect to the sun, and practicing landing. They then become guards at the entrance to the hive, controlling hive temperature, clustering for heat, and fanning water into the hive for coolness. Finally they become foragers, collecting honey and pollen and water and sap, and wear themselves out, losing their furriness, and then dying. And what I would like to know is whether at any point in their very short lives bees get to choose.

Do's and Dont's For New Veggie Gardeners

It is great to see so many people getting into veggie gardening at the moment. Here are some tips for those doing it for the first time:


Do check that where you are situated your garden will get enough sun in winter. Most veggies need four to six hours of sun each day, but in June and July the sun drops lower in the sky, which can leave much of your garden in shade. Think back to where you went to catch the warm morning sun in your garden last winter and place your garden there. Areas that are open to the north and north-east are generally best.

Don’t start your garden in an area that gets lots of sun in summer but not in winter. Areas open to the south and the west but not to the north and the east will be too shady for growing vegies in the cooler months.


Do make sure that the veggies you plant now are the ones that grow well in the cooler time of year. There are plenty to choose from, including all the cabbage family, silverbeet, beetroot, lettuce, carrots, fennel, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, peas beans, parsley, mint and coriander.

Don’t be tempted to plant herbs like sweet basil, veggies like zucchinis and cucumber, or fruit like rockmelon that are looking luscious in the shops right now or are on the discount bench at your local nursery. They will not grow well in winter in Brisbane.


    Do start making compost and caring for your soil, right from the beginning. Recycle all your plant waste, grass clippings, food scraps and chicken manure into a compost bin or pile and mulch your garden well.

    Don’t think that just because your first crop grows well in soil that has not been used for a while, your next cycle of crops will grow just as well without you recycling nutrients back into the soil.  

    Dick Copeman

    Wicking Beds

    My partner Rachel loves gardening and has been studying permaculture and was wanting to grow some more edible stuff as well as plants that are aesthetically pleasing.

    The idea of using wicking beds came from our own nursery assistant, Lucy.

    The frame of the bed is made from 200 x 50 x 2400 mm, untreated, sustainably harvested, hardwood sleepers bolted and screwed together in a way not dissimilar to the beds at the farm.

    The actual wicking bed itself follows a design put forward by VEG (Very Edible Gardens) in Victoria published on YouTube.

    The bottom of the bed is covered with corflute, then the bed is lined with pond liner and another layer of corflute, outlet and inlet pipes installed,200mm bed of 5mm bluestone covered with geotextile fabric, then filled with loamy soil and compost to a depth of 300mm. Voila! When completed we will have 3 of these beds. Then for the chook shed!

    We used mostly new material so it was not a cheap exercise and can’t necessarily be justified on an economic basis but we saw the project as a long term hobby which would give us years of enjoyment and connection with growing stuff!  

    Albert Lebbink

    Thank you Belinda, for these sassy 3 and a great message!



    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


    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.  

    As a not for profit charity, all donations over $2 are tax deductible.


    The Volunteer program is still on hold and we are hoping to lift that restriction around the end of June.  Keep an eye on our social media and websites for updates.  We hope you are all keeping well and finding interesting and rewarding things to do.  We look forward to seeing you all again at the Farm when the program kicks off again.

    In the meantime, if you'd like to stay in touch with each other through our Microsoft Volunteers Portal just send Albert a message via email:

    FARM TOURS Tours are also on hold until around the end of June.  Keep an eye on our social media for any updates.

    Thats is for April!

    Happy gardening :)

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    Northey Street City Farm

    16 Victoria Street, Windsor, Queensland

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    (07) 3857 8775