We’re hiring – Farming Team Manager

Posted on December 18th, 2014

Are you a skilled and experienced organic farmer with people skills to match? We’re looking for a passionate Permaculturalist to manage (24hrs/week) our diverse gardens and the staff & volunteers who tend them.

About Us

Established in 1994, Northey Street City Farm (NSCF) is a non-profit community organisation for people of all ages and backgrounds to learn the principles of Permaculture through hands-on experience. Join an enthusiastic, passionate group of people to work on one of Australia’s largest city farms; a certified Organic Permaculture site on 6 acres, established kitchen and market gardens as well as orchards and wood lot, plus Brisbane’s only certified Organic Markets. NSCF is also a community hub that facilitates the development of social connections and new skills for volunteers and participants in a variety of programs.


About You

The Farming Team Manager should have a proven strong background in practical Permaculture and organic fruit and vegetable farming in the sub tropics, preferably having previously managed a team of people to develop a market garden or orchards. They should have demonstrable experience in both managing day-to-day farm operations as well as driving medium-term strategic and commercial directions.


About the Role

● Manage and maintain all gardens, orchards and bush revegetation areas using Permaculture principles and practices

● Manage staff and volunteers within the Farming Team

● Plan, schedule and manage food production at the Farm.

● Contribute technical expertise and support other teams as needed

● Develop the Farm to enhance its reputation as a resilient community asset

● Work 24 hrs/week (which must include Tuesdays) on a minimum of 4 days a week. Periodic weekend work is required. Timing of working hours can be flexible according to season and farm requirements.



● Manage all farm zones according to Permaculture and Organic principles

● Develop, implement and record schedules for seasonal planting, maintaining, harvesting, storing, preserving and selling of food and other Farm crops.

● Manage the integration of food production and provisioning activities to meet the requirements of the kitchen for community lunches.

● Manage staff and volunteers in the Farming Team.

● Coordinate management of the animals and of the green waste and composting systems

● Work with the Site Manager to maintain farming infrastructure, tools and the workshop

● Work with the Nursery to save seed and propagate for planting.

● Work with the Education Coordinator to provide living demonstrations of permaculture principles and practices.

● Coordinate, manage and develop farming enterprises, including the NSCF Market stall and the allotments

● Maintain organic certification of the farm, including maintaining current organic management plan and farm operating procedures

● Organise and facilitate Farming Team meetings

● Participate in fortnightly Team Reps meetings

● Report monthly to the Management Committee

● Prepare and manage budgets and be accountable for any team related cash handling systems

● Contribute to the development, enactment and review of key policy documents to guide activities on the Farm


Click below for full details on how to apply

FarmingManagerPD Dec14

Applications are due close of business Tuesday 27 January 2015.


Christmas Opening times

Posted on December 16th, 2014


Open every Sunday through the Christmas period


Tuesday 23rd December – 9am -3pm

Saturday 27th December – 9am- 3pm

Sunday 28th December – 7am – 12.00pm

Saturday 3rd January – 9am – 3pm

Sunday 4th January – 7am – 12.00PM

These lovely Christmas trees are for sale at the Nursery now.


Please also note that between Monday 5th January and Friday 16th January the Nursery will be CLOSED for renovations.

We will be selling plants from a stall in the Markets on the 11th January.


The Northey Street City Farm Office will be closed from Friday the 19th of December and re-open on Tuesday the 6th of January.

Seeking an Education Coordinator

Posted on December 4th, 2014

We are looking for a part-time Education Coordinator (20 hours) to join our team. Someone who is a passionate educator with excellent communication and people management skills. You’ll have a thorough understanding of Permaculture principles and practices, and the ability to develop these into engaging and profitable Education and Workshop Programs.

Roles & Responsibilities:

  1. Provide overall coordination of the Education Program at NSCF to ensure the program meets NSCF’s values and goals. The program includes the “Sustainable Living Workshop Program”, the “Permaculture Design Course Program” and the “Farm Tours & School Activities Program” and external educational activities.
  2. Assist with preparation and monitoring of the Education Program budget and recommend new education programs and projects (including grant opportunities) to the Education & Support Team Manager.
  3. Process workshop and course payments and ensure course and student records are maintained.
  4. Work with the Education & Support Team Manager to manage staffing for the Education Program, including recruitment, induction, conflict resolution, timetabling and training.
  5. Arrange and facilitate Education Program meetings with Permaculture teachers, workshop facilitators and farm tutors as required, and support them to deliver enjoyable, interesting and informative Permaculture education experiences.
  6. Support Education Program participants as appropriate.
  7. Teach Permaculture Design Course sessions, and lead visiting school group activities as required (note – remuneration will be in addition to the Education Coordinator salary).
  8. Work with the Education & Support Team Manager to develop and distribute promotional material about the Education Program at various events, both on and off site, for example at the NSCF Sunday Organic Market, festivals, events, and schools.
  9. Work with the Administration Co-ordinator to maintain the education pages on the NSCF website and promote the program on social media.
  10. Liaise externally with:
  • Educational institutions (including schools and universities); community groups; local councils, State Government departments and interested organisations to promote and develop the NSCF Education Program;
  • Registered Training Organisations in relation to fulfilling the training and assessment requirements of Accredited Training Packages and other VET matters;
  • Relevant industry associations to keep up-to-date with national Permaculture issues.

11. Attend fortnightly Education and Support Team meetings as required and report to Education & Support Team Manager fortnightly.

12. Liaise with the Farming Manager about the maintenance and planting plan of the School Garden and other specialist gardens as necessary for   particular courses and workshops.

13. Supervise the volunteer librarian to operate the NSCF Education Library.

Selection Criteria:


  1. Qualifications: Permaculture Design Certificate; and Cert IV in Training & Assessment (TAA) or Cert IV in Training & Assessment (TAE), teaching qualifications, or equivalent (or a willingness to acquire Cert IV TAE)
  2. Teaching and facilitation experience, including curriculum development
  3. Permaculture design, implementation and gardening experience
  4. Program / Project Management experience, including formulating & monitoring budgets
  5. Demonstrated leadership ability and people management skills including conflict resolution
  6. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  7. A demonstrated ability to work to multiple deadlines simultaneously
  1. A current Queensland “Blue Card” (Working with Children Check) or a willingness to obtain one.


  1. Experience in supervising staff or volunteers
  2. Experience working in community organisations
  3. Website maintenance and social media skills.


  • Applications must address each of the selection criteria (approx 100words each)
  • Please also include a CV with at least two referees
  • Applications are due close of business Monday 5 January 2015
  • Proposed start date is mid – January 2015
  • For further info, please contact Ronni Martin: info@nscf.org.au
  • Please submit application electronically to: info@nscf.org.au

Hard copies may be sent to: Northey Street City Farm, 16 Victoria St, Windsor, 4030

Click below for full position description

Education_Coordinator PD_Dec 2014

December eNews

Posted on December 3rd, 2014

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

As we draw to the close of one of the most eventful and challenging years in the Farm’s 20 year history, we’d like to thank all our volunteers and supporters for the help they’ve given.

Over the festive season, the Farm office will be closed from 20 December to 5 January, but the Markets will be operating every Sunday as usual.

You can support the Farm when doing your gift shopping. As well as stalls at the Market selling gifts, we have some great gifts available on our website – on the ethical gifts page.

You could also give the Farm a gift this festive season by donating through our website. The donations are tax-deductible and will go into our Environment Fund. The kinds of gifts we are dreaming about this year would add something extra to our educational programs. For example:
•    Sundial – $100
•    Professional weather station – $300
•    Chicken coop and run – $600
•    Dwarf fruit tree, tub & potting mix for the revamped Backyard Garden – $120 each
All donations will be gratefully received and every bit helps in building an ever better Farm!

Happy Flame Advent CandlesGumnut Hill Christmas cards

Gumnut Hill Christmas cards                    Happy Flame Advent Candles

Important Dates
THIS Saturday 6 December at 9.30 am to 6pm - Permablitz at the Farm
6 December at 12.30 to 2pm - Volunteers Brunch
5 January - close of Education Co-ordinator applications.
31 January - Scheming and Dreaming workshop.

The office will be closed from Sat. 20 December to Mon. 5 January.

Upcoming Sustainable Living Workshops
13th December – Native Bee Keeping- with Bee expert Tim Heard
20th December - Palm Sheath Basket with Weva Deva
24th January – Growing Healthy Veggies with Bunya Halasz
24th January – Establishing and Maintaining a Vegetable Garden with Bunya Halasz
7th March – Bioregional Medicine: A Workshop for the DIY Herbalist with Jayne Azzopardi
11th March – Fermented Herbal Sodas and Honey Mead with Jayne Azzopardi
14th March – Introduction to Herbal Medicine with Jayne Azzopardi

Permaculture Design Courses for 2015
Saturdays from 7 February to 23 May.
Easter Intensive: From 3 April to 19 April (break for Easter)
Fridays from 17 July to 23 October.

Management Committee
At the recent AGM the new management committee was appointed. We have 7 continuing members and 2 new members. Our new members are Rowena Lindquist, who is joining us as the new secretary, and Rose Feely, who is joining us as a general member. We welcome them to the committee. Tiffany Gallacher is continuing in her role as Treasurer, while Belinda Kau has taken up the position of Assistant Coordinator and Emma Brindal as Coordinator. The other continuing members are: Richard Nielsen, Ray Quinn, Emma Maltby and Murray Carew. For bios on all the MC members, go to:http://www.nscf.org.au/meet-our-management-committee/

We would like to extend a thankyou to everyone who attended the AGM to participate in the farm governance process, and to report that at the AGM all the proposed changes to our Rules were unanimously passed.

The new MC is looking forward to contributing to the farm’s governance in the following year, and in particular to supporting the exciting process of developing a strategic plan for the Farm’s direction over the next 5 years in consultation with farm members. We hope to see some of you engaging in this at the ‘Scheming and Dreaming’ Day set for January 31st.

Site Re-opening
Most of the fences should be removed from the northern part of the farm later this week.
Bare soil has been covered, disturbed areas made secure and the first raised gardens built and planted out. A host of volunteers, from both our regular crew and a lot of new volunteers, have worked in often hot and difficult conditions to bring life back to our gardens.

Boy in garden bed

The Reclink Work Skills team have been building beds and the HELP and Epic teams have been working on our grounds. Brisbane City Council has been supporting us with materials for covering our soil and re-building our beds.

Seek out nourishing and quirky gifts from Makers Lane and within the market for that special someone this year with a wide range of products available from nourishing soap packs, quirky leather and felt wear, home cleaning products, crystals from Crystal Evolution (located out in the grassed area with Mud Bob’s stall), baskets and rugs, relishes and preserves, herbal beauty and healing products. And after you’ve gifted your loved ones, why not gift yourself to a personal reading or energy treatment with one of our specialized therapy stalls.
Vollie at lunch



The re-opening of the Chai Cafe in the kitchen space under the mango trees is anticipated to happen this Sunday the 14th of December. Just in time for festive season Sunday morning catch ups with friends for chai or homemade lemonade!


Go organic and support local businesses this Christmas at Northey Street Organic Farmers Markets, every Sunday under the figs in the car park at Northey Street City Farm


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

Fruit trees- plums, apples, dwarf mulberry black, red tamarillo, Japanese taro, Japanese ginger, Chinese keys, jaboticaba, black sapote, soursop, bay tree, variety of dwarf citrus.
Herbs- French tarragon, sage, summer savory, thyme, oregano, variety of basil, rosemary, onion chives, garlic chives, red and green perrilla, salad burnett, mint, lemon grass.

With this heat now is the time to mulch your garden. Sugarcane $15 a bale, lucerne $15 a bale, tea tree $15 a bale. Get in quick!

We welcome Desi Achilleos to the position of Administration Co-ordinator.  Desi will be the voice on the phones on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and answering your queries on the info@ email.  She’ll also be responsible for our social media and lots of other tasks which support us all in our activities at the Farm.

Our Education Co-ordinator Kristy has resigned to go travelling and working overseas for the next couple of years. She will be greatly missed but we wish her many great adventures. So we are recruiting for an Education Co-ordinator to start in mid to late January next year. You can view the position descripton and application details on our website.

Sustainable Living Workshops
13th December – Native Bee Keeping- with Bee expert Tim Heard
20th December – Palm Sheath Basket with Weva Deva
24th January – Growing Healthy Veggies with Bunya Halasz
24th January – Establishing and Maintaining a Vegetable Garden with Bunya Halasz
7th March – Bioregional Medicine: A Workshop for the DIY Herbalist with Jayne Azzopardi
11th March – Fermented Herbal Sodas and Honey Mead with Jayne Azzopardi
14th March – Introduction to Herbal Medicine with Jayne Azzopardi

Introduction to Organic Gardening  -  with Peta Deacon
Saturday mornings 29th November – 20th December

Fancy growing your own food but don’t know where to start? This practical 4 week course covers the basics of starting a garden using organic principles suited to our subtropical climate in south east Queensland.  From building up your soil, making compost to propagating, saving seeds and building raised gardens.

Permaculture Design Course 2015
Are you thinking of completing your PDC next year?  Start planning now and find more details on the Education section of our website.
Saturdays from 7 February to 23 May.
Easter Intensive: From 3 April to 19 April (break for Easter)
Fridays from 17 July to 23 October.

A short version of the weekly free Farm Tour is on every Tuesday at 9.30am. The tour is followed by a volunteer induction session.

Earth Arts activities are continuing at the Markets on Sundays and on Tuesdays and Fridays at the Farm.

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

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

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If you are changing your email address, please contact us at info(at)nscf.org.au, and include both your old & new addresses, plus a mention of ‘eNews’ in your message

Our postal address is:

Northey Street City Farm

16 Victoria St

Windsor, Qld 4030


November eNews

We are rebuilding our gardens and hope that most of the fences around the northern part of the Farm will come down this month.

Important Dates
6 December – Volunteers Brunch 12.30-2pm RSVP 3857 8775
- PERMABLITZ 9.30am-6pm Volunteer to help rebuild the farm
Wear closed footwear and a hat. Bring water bottle and gardening gloves.
Vegetarian Lunch, tea and coffee provided

 Upcoming Sustainable Living Workshops
Introduction to Organic Gardening  -  with Peta Deacon
Saturday mornings 29th November – 20th December

29th November – Natural Dying with Linda Parmenter
13th December – Native Bee Keeping- with Bee expert Tim Heard
20th December – Palm Sheath Basket with Weva Deva


wicking beds

Bathtub bed with old pots as wicking base

by Dick Copeman, Farming Team Manager
farming.mgr(at)nscf.org.au   ph: 07 3857 8775

Re-building our Gardens is Underway
Council has finally given us the green light to rebuild our gardens in raised beds filled with clean soil.
The first of the new raised beds in the kitchen garden have been completed. Two wicking beds made from old bathtubs have been filled with clean soil and planted with herbs and leafy greens.


Pots, agpipe and gravel for water reservoir

Pots, agpipe and gravel for water reservoir






The bathtubs were mounted on wooden frames by the Reclink Work Skills team under the supervision of Steve Hutchinson and then overflow pipes and water reservoir were installed by Trev and Ian from the Rust Busters volunteer crew. Council delivered clean soil, cow manure and sand in time for volunteers on Thursday afternoon to mix the three ingredients and fill the tubs.

planted wicking bed

Bob planting greens in bathtub wicking bed.

mulching wicking bed

Karen mulching herbs in bathtub bed.










filling bed

Kristy and Michael filling corrugated raised bed.

Two non-wicking raised beds have also been prepared and filled and are just awaiting the connection of drip irrigation before they are planted out.

Below: Barry and Luke emptying the large raised bed

The old soil from two large raised beds was removed by an energetic crew on Saturday and they are almost ready for re-filling with clean soil.

Volunteer Opportunities
There are many more raised and wicking beds to be installed and planted. The sooner we re-build the gardens, the sooner the fences will come down.
Volunteer working bees will be happening each week until mid-December at the following times:

  • Tuesday 7am to 10am
  • Thursday 3pm to 6pm
  • Saturday 7am to 10am

The working bees are being held early morning or late afternoon to avoid the summer heat. On Thursdays, working bees to propagate plants for the gardens are happening from 10.30 to 12.30 and there is a volunteer training session from 1.30 to 2.15pm.

No experience necessary. Please wear closed shoes and a hat. Gloves provided.
All Welcome.   It’s a great learning experience.

Management Committee

Strategic Planning
Members and volunteers as well as staff will meet to discuss the future directions of the Farm over the next 5 years at our annual scheming and dreaming planning day in November.

Annual General Meeting
Our Annual General Meeting will be on Sat. 22 November, at the Farm. We are an Incorporated Association, so this meeting is where we elect the Management Committee and hear a summary of what was achieved in the previous year.

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


Fair Food Film Night
The Fair Food Film Night was very interesting and stimulated animated discussion during the break. Thanks to the volunteers who helped on the night we were fed with hot drinks and cob-oven baked pizzas. We are planning to run a film night every quarter, so keep an eye on our website and Facebook for details of the next one.

We will be opening our volunteer program to new people from Tuesday 18 November. In addition, we have working bees to help with rebuilding the garden beds – see details in the site closure report above.

A short version of the weekly free Farm Tour will start on Tuesday 18 November at 9.30am. We hope to have access to most of the northern half of the site by then. The tour will be followed by a volunteer induction session.

Sustainable Living Workshops

Those who know Peta Deacon our Edible Landscapes Nursery Co-ordinator know that she has encyclopedic knowledge of all things plants.
We’ve got a treat for you. Peta will be teaching a number of workshops over the coming weeks – book in now to secure a place

1st NovemberSeed Saving with Peta Deacon
8th NovemberWorm Farming with Peta Deacon
15th NovemberCoil Stitch with Weva Deva
15th NovemberMaking Good Compost with Peta Deacon
22nd NovemberGardening in Small Spaces, Pots & Vertical Spaces with Peta Deacon
13th DecemberNative Bee Keeping- with Bee expert Tim Heard
20th DecemberPalm Sheath Basket with Weva Deva

Introduction to Organic Gardening  -  with Peta Deacon
Saturday mornings 29th November – 20th December

Fancy growing your own food but don’t know where to start? This practical 4 week course covers the basics of starting a garden using organic principles suited to our subtropical climate in south east Queensland.  From building up your soil, making compost to propagating, saving seeds and building raised gardens.

Permaculture Design Course 2015
Are you thinking of completing your PDC next year? We offer one day a week options usually on Fridays or Saturdays.

Earth Arts activities are continuing at the Markets on Sundays and on Tuesdays and Fridays at the Farm.

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



ORGANIC FARMERS’ MARKETS   Sundays 6am to 10.30am Shade and music
The days are really warming up now so it’s a good time for a tropical fruit platter or a light salad for lunch. Start looking for watermelons, pawpaw and nectarines for a refreshing bite, or add cucumber to your salads for that extra crunch or rocket for an extra zing.
Remember, we now have an ATM located near the toilets for customer convenience.
While other markets bake in the sun during Summer, we’re drinking cool juice under the shade of enormous trees. Enjoy some of the best things about of Brisbane at Northey Street Markets every Sunday morning.
Our trading hours are: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 9-3, and Sunday 6am – Noon. (Closed Monday and Wednesday)
Rocky Point Lucerne hay $15 a bag or 5 bags for $70

Herbs – available
Lemon grass, Citronella grass, Green and purple Perilla, Echinacea,
Rosemary – Huntingdon Carpet, Tuscan Blue, Portugal Pink, Blue Lagoon.
Saw-tooth Coriander
German Chamomile
Basil – Sweet, Ruffles, Mini Greek, Purple.
Pigeon Pea
Garden Mint
Chives – Onion, Garlic.
Celery stem Taro

Dwarf Fruit Trees
Avocado – Hass, Wurtz
Meyer Lemon
Kaffir Lime
Orange – Seedless Valencia, Washington Navel.

Fruit Trees
Miracle Fruit
Black Mulberry
Heritage Raspberry
Eureka Lemon
Kaffir Lime


Posted on October 17th, 2014

Following the soil contamination incident of the past four months we are finally in a position to rebuild our gardens. They have to be converted to raised garden beds and filled with clean soil, under the operational plan negotiated with the council. We are now calling for volunteers to help with this big task.

 Raised garden contruction

VOLUNTEER SESSIONS will be held each week at the following times:-

Tuesdays 7-10am – Preparing and installing raised garden beds
Thursdays 10.30am-12.30pm Propagating seedlings and cuttings

Thursdays 1.30-2.30 pm – Free volunteer training session (see program below)
Thursdays 3-6pm – Preparing and Installing raised garden beds
Saturdays 7-10am – Preparing and Installing raised garden beds

The sessions to install the new beds are early on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and late on Thursdays, so that we can work when it is not too hot, as we are now going in to the hotter time of year.

Please wear closed shoes and a hat and bring a water bottle and gardening gloves (if you have them – if not we can supply them).  Tea and coffee will be provided but BYO food.

Gardening experience is not needed, though always welcome. All volunteers will be given a briefing and site safety induction, including how to work safely with the soil on our site, which is contaminated in places with lead and asbestos. As long as we all follow some simple safety procedures, there is no risk from the soil. Please arrive at the beginning of the session so that all volunteers can be inducted and briefed at the one time.

We hope that you will be able to join us as we rebuild the Farm, having fun and learning together as we do it.


Northey Street City Farm

Volunteer Training Sessions

Thursdays 1.30-2.15pm




23rd Oct Good soil Dick
30th Oct Vegies for summer Dick
6th Nov Propagating from seeds Peta
13th Nov How to make compost Patricia
20th Nov Propagating from cuttings Peta
27th Nov Catching water for the garden Dick
4rh Dec Worm farming Patricia
11th Dec Using water efficiently Dick


Posted on October 3rd, 2014


Councillor Bourke from Brisbane City Council has given the green light for the farm to re-open in stages, as we implement our revised soil contamination operational plan.

catapilla w fences

Caterpillar waiting to transform in front of the fences – Jemma Darlington

The state Dept of Environment has listed our site on the Environmental Management Register but Council, with support from Queensland Health, has convinced the state Environment Dept that we can continue to operate as long as we follow the plan that we have prepared.


We have submitted a revised timeline for our re-building, including the staged removal of the fences, starting hopefully in mid to late October and continuing till the last of the fences across the road are removed by mid-May next year.

Council has also agreed to supply all the materials we requested for re-building our gardens as raised beds, including timber, fasteners, linings cow manure and soil. Delivery is starting today.

A new Work Skills crew has joined us to build raised beds for our gardens and they have completed a number already. These will be installed progressively over the next few months.

A call for volunteers to help with the installation will be going out soon, once we arrange delivery of the materials.


Fair Food Film Night

Posted on September 30th, 2014

Fair Food 2014banner-650x180

Fair Food Week (10th – 19th October) is a time to shine the light on the ‘new story of fairness’ across the food system, from paddock to plate. It’s a week full of intriguing and attractive events around the country.

Join us for an event here at Northey Street:

Fair Food Film Night 

Thursday 16th of October

from 6:30pm.

We’ll be screening a few short food films for a gold coin donation with drinks and cob oven pizza available for purchase.

About the films to be screened:

Orange Tree Blues is a powerful short film telling the story of Mick Audinno, an orange producer from Leeton, in the Riverina District of NSW.

Sourced delves into the story of food in our own backyard. It reveals the potential of small-scale, local agriculture to strengthen food security and build resilient urban communities. Sourced is a collaborative project by Youth Food Movement Australia and Digital Storytellers.

An Urban Orchard traces the history of food gathering and production on the Adelaide Plains, from Kaurna food traditions to present day backyard gardens. This film is a celebration of growing and sharing good food. A film by Friends of the Earth Adelaide.


Posted on September 17th, 2014

The next chapter in the Farm site story..

The QLD Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) has now become involved in assessing the Farm’s soil contamination issue, “due to the levels of arsenic, lead and chromium found on site.” This is happening despite the fact that:

  • Arsenic and chromium were found only in ash from a fire, not in any of the 32 soil samples tested
  • The contaminated ash has already been removed by Council and the area turfed.
  • Queensland Health has said that “the level of (lead) exposure is quite low”.

We have prepared a soil contamination management plan, which we were preparing to implement. Council promised to supply materials needed to implement the management plan, but, since the state became involved, our requests to Council for support have been ignored. Council has also said that they won’t remove the fencing until we have implemented our management plan.


Northey Street City Farm needs your support (again!)

 Please contact the Premier, Campbell Newman

Tell Premier Newman that you value and support the work that City Farm does and urge him to ensure that the Farm can resume operations as soon as possible. The Premier’s contacts are:


Phone: (07) 3719 7000      Fax: (07) 3220 6222

Please cc your email to our local MP, Robert Cavalucci, at Brisbane.Central@parliament.qld.gov.au

and also to the Farm at support@nscf.org.au

Farm Closure Update

Posted on August 19th, 2014

The markets, nursery and café are all open, and we urge people to support us through their patronage of these businesses.

Soil investigation results

A number of soil samples were recently taken by council for testing from various sites around the farm. The main findings of this soil testing at the Farm were:-

- A number of areas of the site are contaminated by asbestos

- Some areas of the site have higher than recommended levels of lead present in the soil. No contamination was detected in the areas used by the Farm’s playgroups and children’s art activities.

- The ashes in the healing circle fire site had significant contamination (most likely from treated timber) and this area will be remediated by the Council.

 What are the risks?

Recent media articles have not been completely accurate and it is important to correct some misinformation that may have been generated. Some key points that should be noted are:-

- Queensland Health has assessed that “the level of exposure is quite low”.

- Soil samples were taken from ground soil, rather than our garden beds, which have been built up with compost produced largely from off-site materials over the years.

- There is no indication that the Farm’s produce has been contaminated.

- The main risk from asbestos is from breathing fibers that have been exposed when asbestos is broken down. Air test samples were also carried out and no detectable air borne asbestos was identified.

- Lead can be taken up by plants, but it binds to organic matter in soil and so higher levels of organic compost will limit the amount taken up by plants.

- The greater risk is from lead contaminated dust being present on the outer surface of plants. This risk can be minimized by ensuring mulching or coverage of any dusty soil areas and by washing and peeling vegetables.

- As a follow up from the Council results we have arranged for testing of our garden bed soil as well as produce samples from different areas of the farm. We will let people know the results of this when complete.

- Produce at the Sunday markets come from local farms throughout South East Queensland and Northern NSW, and not from Northey Street gardens or allotments. While Northey Street has had a small stall at the markets in the past, no farm produce has been harvested or sold since the investigations began in June

What is being done to manage the contamination?

The Farm has prepared a management plan to prevent contact by people and food plants with the contaminants. It includes:-

- all gardens to be in raised beds lined by semi-permeable cloth and filled with clean soil all walkways and bare soil to be covered with grass, paving, deco, mulch, etc.

- no access to the soil by chickens – alternative deep litter bedding systems will be required

- all farm produce to be washed before eating and young children to be supervised to ensure they don’t eat dirt or unwashed vegetables.

When will the fences come down?

Council will take the fences down when the Farm’s management plan is approved, hopefully within the next week.