Welcome to the January 2016 E-News  



To find out more about NSCF governance and what the Management Committee does, have a look at our page on the website: Management Committee
The Management Committee would like to say farewell and good luck in your new endeavours to Wade Dillon, our Farming Manager. We appreciate the contributions Wade has made to rebuilding our food growing and getting the Farm up and running again.

Upcoming Events

Sustainable Living Workshops
Saturday 30th January, Prints from Plants
Friday 5th February, All About Herbs 1&2
Saturday 6th February, Incredible Edibles
Saturday 13th February, Feta and an Intro to Fermented Food
Saturday 13th February, Haloumi and Fermented Food
Saturday 20th February, Lantern Making
Saturday 27th February, Botanical Fibre Paper-Making
Saturday 5th March, Miso, Tempeh and Soy Sauce making workshop
Saturday 5th March, Lactic Fermentation Workshop
Saturday 12st March, Bush Regen K.I.T.: Knowledge, Inspiration, Tools 'n' technique
Saturday 12st March, Coil Stitch Weaving Circle
Saturday 19th March, 9am-4pm: Bee-Keeping
Saturday 26th March, Superfoods in your garden
Saturday 9th April, Twist Weave Weaving circle
Saturday 16th April, Introduction to Organic Gardening
Friday 22nd April, Native stingless bees
Free workshop Series
31st January: 10-11am Introduction to Permaculture
Next Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Courses
Saturday Feb 6th to Saturday May 21st (break for Easter long weekend)
Friday April 1st to Friday July 8th
Other courses
Introduction to Permaculture: May 21st & 22nd, 9am-4pm.
 By Wade Dillon
It’s all happening around the farm at the moment after well-deserved break. Thanks for those volunteers who came in and look after the gardens and chooks over the Christmas break.
The farm team has been busy cleaning out the over grown beds from the summer warmth and rain and have replanted many of our garden areas. There is lot of work to do with finishing off the new market garden and producing compost to keep our produce all healthy.
The Wednesday beekeepers have been kept very busy harvesting a huge amount of honey and Wednesday Tree care have been harvesting the fruit pollinated by those bees.
Anyone wanting to volunteer is welcome to come in on Tuesday 9.30 am for the volunteer induction.
Like this summer season, I will be leaving the Farm in February to make way for a new farm manager in Autumn (not saying they will be cooler then me just because they start in Autumn!).  My wife has a job using her newly finished degree in the South Burnett, so we will be starting a new life there. I would like to say thanks the Northey St City Farm community and staff for their support over this time.
We are looking for a few people to help around the Farm on weekends. These volunteer opportunities will give you experience in retail or propagation in the City Farm Nursery or in event organising at the Organic Farmers Market. Contact Ronni Martin on educationandsupport.mgr [at] for further information, if you are unable to attend the regular volunteer induction on Tuesday mornings at 9.30am.

By Emma Brindal
The next Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course starts on Saturday the 6th of February 2016, running each Saturday until May 21st. There are still a couple of places available if you would like to book in. We also have three other courses running throughout the year.
Here’s what one student said about our course last year:
“I gained a thorough grounding in a wide range of topics relating to permaculture and garden design from this course. The classes were varied and interesting, taught by a range of specialist teachers. I feel that I gained an excellent grounding in permaculture and its principles. It was a fun, enriching and demanding experience.” - Disa Martin, Student
There is an early bird discount for full payment one month before the course starts. Book in now!

Permaculture Design Certificate Course dates for 2016:
  • Saturdays: February 6th to May 21st (break for Easter long weekend)
  • Fridays: April 1st to July 8th  
  • Intensive: September School Holidays – 17th Sept – 2nd Oct
  • Saturdays: August 6th – Nov 19th (break for October long weekend)
2 Day Introduction to Permaculture: October May 21&22, 9am-4pm
Introduction to Permaculture is a wonderful weekend immersion in permaculture. Explore the basics of permaculture principles, design and action. Learn simple and useful skills that will really help you to create an abundant permaculture garden at home, in your street, at school or in your community.  Come and get your hands in the earth and learn by doing.
Facilitated by Morag Gamble. Cost: $200/ 170
For more information and to book, please visit:
To book in to our workshops, go to:
For any enquiries, please email


We are now holding a free workshop on the last Sunday of each month from 10-11am. There is no need to book in - just turn up on the day. The next one is:
31st January: 10-11am Introduction to Permaculture
Book in now for a 2016 school activity or group tour! Our school activities include: ‘Feeding the World’s People’ for high school students; ‘Cob Oven Cooking’ for grades 4 -12; and ‘Farm Life’, ‘Earth Arts’ and ‘Basic Farm Tour’ for all ages. We can also tailor an activity to your needs.
If you are interested in bringing a group here, please visit:
Our School activities page:
Or the group tours page:
Free teaching resources available! … The Global Learning Centre in Albion has shut down and we have inherited class sets of some great primary and secondary geography teaching materials from them. If you are interested in these, please send our Education Coordinator, Emma, an email at education[at] and she will send you a list of the resources we have.
The weekly free Farm Tour is on every Tuesday at 9.30am. Meet at the farm kitchen. The tour is followed by a volunteer induction session.
For more details as well as booking information, please see our website
Education enquiries:
Education bookings:
Office Hours 
Tuesday- Thursday 9am-4pm

City Farm Nursery 
Thursday - Saturday  9am-3pm and
Sunday 6am-11am

Sunday Organic Farmers Market
Every Sunday 6am-11am
ORGANIC FARMERS’ MARKET   Sundays 6am to 11am
Sunday mornings are Northey Street Markets. See you there.  
It has been an exciting time for the market of the past month. Mangoes are in season and the market is full of them. We have a couple new stallholders including Pure n Free (certified organic dairy free coconut yogurt) and Organic Happy Chef (delicious hot pies and breakfasts). Mr and Mrs Larkin have retired and their fantastic stall has now been split into two. Chris and Kim have taken over their jams and preserves business and Honey Hunters are now selling their own honey which was always available at the Larkin’s stall.
Our website has been updated with a list of stall holders and some more detailed information. Have a look! There is more to come.
Improving your soil
By Georgina Smith
Almost every day a nursery customer tells me that they have “the worst” (usually clay) soil, and ask what they need to do to improve it. 
The most important thing that people should “do” to their soil is often nothing… at least until you understand your particular soil better.  This means taking the time to observe and investigate. 
Questions you can ask yourself include:
  • What is growing well, what isn’t?
  • What happens when it rains? What happens when it dries?
  • How does it feel?
  • What else is living in the soil that you can see (worms, fungi, mould)?
  • How easy is it to dig a hole and how quickly will the hole drain of water?
If you bring a soil sample into the Nursery on Saturdays we can also conduct a pH test for you so that you can start to understand what is good about your soil and value this amazing resource.
Two of the things that make your existing soil valuable is its existing structure and its biology and one of the easiest ways to maintain these is to keep plants growing in the soil.  Plant roots help maintain the integrity of the soil as well as improving water infiltration and reducing water repellence.  Plants also reduce evaporation and compaction as well as returning organic matter to the soil.
Organic matter such as mulch, compost and manure, will improve all types of soil for a number of reasons, and, in particular, is essential to be able to support soil biology and build a diverse soil web.  Earthworms, bacteria (most), fungi, nematodes, protozoa and beetles need a carbon based food source – what we call organic matter.  Together, organic matter and soil biology:
  • increase nutrient availability
  • supress disease
  • aerate soil
  • improve water infiltration, retention and reduce water repellence
  • promote plant growth
  • improve pH buffering and mineral uptake
Valuing soil (and all that it comprises) is the first and most important step in looking after it.   The actions we take will depend on the soil and its use but by starting with understanding, we are able to create the best outcomes for us and our soil.
Upcoming Sustainable Living Workshops 
Saturday 30th January, 9am-4pm: Prints from Plants with Nancy Brown Learn to create stunning prints from plants on a range of natural or upcycled materials.

Friday 5th February, 9am-12pm All About Herbs part 1 with Morag GambleLearn all about growing herbs, propagating herbs and making medicinal herbal infusions and teas.Friday 5th February, 1-4pm All About herbs part 2 with Morag GambleExploring both common and unusual herbs for creating delicious culinary herb oils for salads, cooking and gifts.

Saturday 6th February, 9am-4pm Incredible Edibles with Morag Gamble
Learn how to grow, harvest, use and propagate perennial permaculture plants for a subtropical climate.

Saturday 13th February, 9:30am-12:30pm: Feta and an Intro to Fermented Food with Elisabeth Fekonia Learn how to make your own feta cheese at home, and taste other fermented foods!

Saturday 13th February, 9:30am-12:30pm: Haloumi and Fermented Food with Elisabeth Fekonia Learn how to make Haloumi cheese, cultured butter, kefir, sour cream and more.

Saturday 20th February, 9am-4pm: Lantern Making with Nancy Brown
Make a lantern for your garden or special event, using Rattan and translucent paper.

Saturday 27th Feb, 10-12pm: Paper-Making with Lesa Hepburn
In this workshop you will create paper to take home using recycled paper, botanical leaves and fibre.

Saturday 5th March, 9:30am-12:30pm: Miso, Tempeh and Soy Sauce making workshop with Elisabeth Fekonia Learn how to make your own miso, tempeh and soy sauce from organic soy beans!

Saturday 5th March, 1:30pm-4:30pm: Lactic Fermentation Workshop with Elisabeth Fekonia Make a whole range of items from sauerkraut and pickles to kimchi and kombucha tea.

Saturday 12st March, 9am-4pm (Full day or Half day): Bush Regen K.I.T.: Knowledge, Inspiration, Tools 'n' technique with Tali Shelley & Jono Shelley
Gain knowledge, concepts and practical tools for enhancing and protecting our local environment.

Saturday 12st March, Coil Stitch Weaving Circle with Weva DevaDiscover a plethora of natural and recycled materials used to weave together spiraling coils of fibre into your own unique art piece.Saturday 19th March, 9am-4pm: Bee-Keeping with Richard Nielsen Learn about the traditional Langstroth honey bee hive, and how to manage one as well as harvest and bottle honey.

Saturday 26th March, 9am-4pm: Superfoods in your garden with Morag Gamble
Learn how to grow these amazing superfoods in your garden and taste some recipes for them.

Saturday 9th April, 9am-4pm: Twist Weave Weaving circle with Weva Deva
Learn the Twist Weave (Dilly Bag) technique and how to harvest, prepare and weave with lomandra, an incredibly strong and flexible fibre.

Saturday 16th April, 9am-4pm:  Introduction to Organic Gardening with Morag Gamble
A hands on workshop to learn about planting, growing, and maintaining your own home organic garden.

Friday 22nd April, 9am-4pm:  Native Stingless Bees with Dr Tobias Smith presenting Tim Heard’s workshop .A practical and theoretical course about stingless bees, their nests, hives, harvesting and more.

I hope you can come along and join in with one of our activities. See you around the Farm!
Ronni Martin. Education & Support Team Manager.
Copyright © 2016 Northey Street City Farm, All rights reserved.

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