Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Permaculture in the City - Positively Buzzing

I spent my weekend at Northey Street City Farm in Brisbane - the bustling and thriving hub of permaculture, organic food and sustainable community in this city. I love this place - I always have!

In 1993, a small group of us were dreaming and visioning this city farm - and in 1994 it all began. Twenty-two years later, I am so delighted, and really quite in awe, of how it has become such an important centre for sustainability and urban permaculture in this city and an inspiration for so many individuals, groups and educators. It such a buzz to have been part of this, and to continue to be.

I almost lived at the city farm for the first 5 years of its existence, then I moved up to the permaculture village 90 minutes north, where I still live today.  I am often drawn back to the city farm and in many ways carry it in my heart.  I learnt so much here - about being a good designer, teacher, facilitator and listener, and about the importance and value of community. 

Twice a year I offer a two-day workshop at City Farm - Introduction to Permaculture. Often Northey Street also brings groups up to my garden as part of their tree-change tours and permaculture design course programs. Next weekend they'll be coming here to my place.

Thanks to the wonderful group of people who participated in my two-day permaculture workshop last weekend. It was so lovely to meet you all, to share ideas and garden together. I was inspired by the amazing things so many of you are doing and planning, and by the commitment you have in wanting to live a more sustainable way of life and create more sustainable work-life. 

In the workshop we explored permaculture principles and ethics, permaculture design strategies and how permaculture contributes to sustainable ways of living. We had some great discussions and shared lots of ideas. Together we: 
  • toured and taste-tested our way through the 4 acres of edible landscape
  • got our hands into worm farms and compost systems
  • made a perennial edible garden (brush turkey safe!) and explored many strategies for developing veggie gardens
  • propagated many interesting permaculture perennials and planted them into up-cycled mini-wicking pots
  • rolled some seed balls with mung beans, marigolds and buckwheat, 
  • saved open pollinated seed
  • had a show and tell about beeswax cloths, natural dyes, homemade salves, solar cooking
  • enjoyed the organic farmers market

The Brush Turkey was busy making a nest not far from our new garden bed, so we took precautions to protect it. 
Most of us got muddy making seedballs.
Every Sunday morning at Northey Street City Farm is the wonderful Organic Farmers Market from 6-12. It is such a wonderfully buzzing place on Sundays - organic produce, food, coffee, personal products, healing, music, kids activities, yoga and more. People come for more than just shopping - they come to be part of the community here, to be part of a different way of living in the city.

People of all ages come to the city farm on Sunday. It's a great family hangout. Some talented young kids set up busking too.
"This Place is Very Cool" - I found this note on the blackboard in the middle of city farm - someone had written it late Saturday or very early Sunday morning. I often remember finding notes like this too when I used to live up the road from the city farm in the days of getting it started.  City farms and community gardens touch people in ways we cannot even begin to imagine - and not just those who come and volunteer, learn or work there.

Here in my own permaculture garden, the workshop season for 2016 is coming to a close.
  • October 29: The Simple and Abundant Garden (Sold out)
  • November 12: Harvest to Table (places available) - In this workshop we'll be exploring what to do with abundant garden harvest from a permaculture garden. We'll also look at different storing, preserving and drying techniques to extend the benefits of your seasonal produce. It will be a hands-on experience starting in the garden, learning about when and how to harvest, then moving into the kitchen to get creative and cook a meal with the collected produce.


  1. Sounds like a lot of fun Morag - really enjoy all your posts.

  2. Modern civilized life making the surrounding nature damaged day by day but we can make it stop and can protect the nature by working together. It is not so difficult to establish Permaculture practice but first of all we need to spread the idea of sustainable lifestyle. We can use our small back yard, rooftop, terrace, or even veranda to make an organic garden and grow our food products. These gardens will keep the environment pollution free and will attract many birds. If in every houses , this type of organic garden are built, the surrounding area will become more fresh and sustainable.

    Rancho Delicioso