July 2014 News from Northey Street City Farm - courtesy of Sheryl Backhouse

Northey St City Farm News - JULY 2014

Welcome to the July 2014 News from Northey Street City Farm.

Important Dates
4 July – 6pm for 6.30pm – David Holmgren & Nicole Foss Talk at QUT (see below for details)
26-27 July & 2-3 August – Intro to Bush Permaculture Retreat
8 August – Permaculture Design Course starts

Upcoming Workshops
5 July – Seasonal Vegetable Gardening
5 July – Establishing & Maintaining Vegetable Gardens
12 July – Natural Honey Bee Keeping

NEWS FROM THE FARM Management Committee


As you may have heard by now, Northey Street City Farm’s site has been shut down by Brisbane City Council for up to one month in order to investigate possible contamination from demolition waste on site. Despite this sudden site closure, we are determined to keep operating normally, to the fullest extent possible.

We are asking for help from our many supporters:

  • Write to Lord Mayor, Graham Quirk expressing your support for the Farm and asking for the site to be reopened as soon as possible. The Lord Mayor’s contacts are:


Email - Lordmayor@brisbane.qld.gov.au


Please cc to: support@nscf.org.au


Phone: 3403 4400   Fax: 3403 9930

  • Make a donation to our tax-deductible Environment Fund to help offset the financial losses we will suffer as a result of this closure. You can donate via our website


Without prior notice, council officers arrived on site on Thursday 19th June late in the afternoon and started putting up temporary fencing around the site, so that all public access to the site was prevented.

The site closure affected the Winter Solstice Festival which was to be held around the Farm site on Saturday 21st June. The Events & Festivals division of council provided extra toilets, lighting, marquees and seating so that the whole Solstice Festival could be moved to the car park. We sent out a media release about the changes and received coverage in the Courier Mail and on several radio stations.

The sudden change of venue caused a lot of extra work and anxiety for the main Solstice organisers, Linda, Scott and Kristy, who put in an amazing effort to run what turned out to be a very successful Solstice event. We used the event to inform our supporters of the issues and to encourage them to let the Lord Mayor know that they want the farm to be up and running again as soon as possible.

In the early years of the farm, soil was tested and no contamination with hazardous materials or chemical residues was found. More recently, the staff of Northey Street City Farm have been aware of small amounts of demolition waste on the site. Our site coordinator is trained and experienced in the management of hazardous materials and he is educating our staff and volunteers to ensure that it is managed appropriately, in accordance with health and safety regulations.

Northey Street City Farm is treating this issue very seriously. We do not want to cause any risk to our members, volunteers and supporters, nor to members of the public. We will work with Council and its consultants to investigate the contamination, and we are also seeking our own independent scientific advice on how to best manage this problem.

We are also concerned that the risks from this contamination are not exaggerated or blown out of proportion. We are confident that the contamination will be able to be successfully managed so that the farm can resume normal operations as soon as possible.

•  The Northey Street Organic Markets on Sundays will continue to be held but our Farm Stall will be closed as we can’t access the Market Garden.


•  The Chai Cafe will also be closed as the public can’t access the area.

•  Access to the toilets on Sundays will be around the northern side of the nursery.

•  Edible Landscapes nursery will be open from this Sunday.

•  The Work for the Dole programs will continue, but our Community Service and Plant Grow Cook programs have been suspended. Our volunteer and intern programs will be limited to nursery and toolshed work.

•  All School Tours have been cancelled until next term.

•  As we still have access to the Education Centre, the Permaculture Design Course will continue, as well as the Sustainable Living Workshops that have already been booked.

To find out more about NSCF governance and what the Management Committee does, have a look at our page on the website: Management Committee

Despite having to change the venue completely with less than 24hours notice, the Winter Solstice Festival was as good as ever this year. Our thanks go out to all the performers who donated their time, and to the staff and volunteers who worked long hours to make it happen.

Also, thanks to Jodie and her team who gave a depth of meaning to the event, the Tapestry choir for their music during the ceremony, and all the lantern-makers, lantern bearers and the fire crew for their contribution.

How communities can survive and thrive with Nicole Foss and David Holmgren
Presented by Northey Street City Farm
Friday 4th July - QUT Gardens Point Campus D Block, Room 101
6.00pm for 6.30pm
Tea and coffee available
Tickets  $20 (Concessions & students $15)  Buy your tickets online. Click here

Two of the world’s leading authorities on sustainability, both passionate and provoking speakers, explore the opportunity for communities to take control and create an alternative future to the one that is currently emerging.

Systems analyst Nicole Foss will explain the links between the converging pressures facing us – economic contraction, environmental crisis and geopolitical stress – and how this will impact on our everyday lives.

Drawing on 30 years of permaculture teaching, designing and demonstrating rural and urban agricultural production, David Holmgren will focus on how communities can not only survive, but thrive, by getting out of debt, downsizing and rebooting our dormant household and community non-monetary economies.

Our trading hours are: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 9-3, and Sunday 6am - Noon. (Closed Monday and Wednesday) 

Edible Landscapes nursery will be open from this Sunday

ORGANIC FARMERS’ MARKETS   Sundays 6am to 10.30am
The Northey Street Organic Markets on Sundays will continue to be held but our Farm Stall will be closed as we can’t access the Market Garden.
There’s no better time to show your support for Northey Street Markets. July will no doubt be a trying month for the whole farm so be sure to enjoy what you can.
The local season for staples is sweet potatoes, potatoes, brown onions and pumpkins. Good for a roast dinner on a cold night. Throw in some carrots and beetroot for colour.
Don’t forget it’s strawberry season. The snow peas are another favourite for snacking on at this time of year.

Our market layout will be slightly altered for July so please bear with us while we make it through this trying time.

Sustainable Living Workshops
5 July – Seasonal Vegetable Gardening
5 July – Establishing & Maintaining Vegetable Gardens
12 July – Natural Honey Bee Keeping

Permaculture Design Course
Our next Permaculture class is on Fridays, starting 8th of August. Book in now for the discounted early bird rate available until the 8th of July.

Completing a PDC at Northey Street offers the advantage of working on a design location of your choice and we have a diverse teaching team giving you access to a wide knowledge base. Take it from a student in the Saturday PDC this year, the course was “so relevant and engaging”

 NEW  Introduction to Permaculture Retreat
We’re planning a new workshop over two weekends. Spend two days at Northey Street City Farm on the 26-27th of July learning the basics of Permaculture design, and the following weekend (2-3rd of August) at a hands-on retreat at Paradise One. This is a property in northern NSW being restored from the ravages of modern day agriculture into a system providing food for people, habitat for flora and fauna, ecosystem services and a place for people to gather. More info on our website

This exciting new program will go ahead with a minimum of 8 participants, let us know you are interested by emailing education(at)nscf.org.au

For more details as well as booking information, please see our website
Education enquiries: education(at)nscf.org.au
Education bookings: info(at)nscf.org.au

Earth Arts and Playgroups are suspended for at least a month due to the site closure.

The Farm Tour is cancelled until we regain access to the site.

Northey Street City Farm

Corner of Northey & Victoria Streets, Windsor, Qld, Australia
Ph: (07) 3857 8775,  Fax: (07) 3857 8108   Email: info(at)nscf.org.au

If you wish to receive emails directly, please contact Northey Street City Farm at info(at)nscf.org.au, and include your email address, plus a mention of 'eNews' in your message.

Our postal address is:

Northey Street City Farm

16 Victoria St

Windsor, Qld 4030

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