Northey Street City Farm (NSCF) is a non-profit community organisation situated on the banks of Brisbane’s Breakfast Creek in the inner-city suburb of Windsor. It was founded in 1994, by a group of local residents who wanted space to grow their own food while educating and encouraging others in local food production. From a bare site, it has transformed to an inner-city green oasis, welcoming thousands of visitors every year. The activities of NSCF are orientated around three major values; Caring for Earth, Caring for People, and Learning. Caring for Earth is promoted through generating local food production, restoring native vegetation, green waste recycling, and encouraging organic practices. Caring for People is promoted through gathering a vibrant community of volunteers to engage in hands-on work at the Farm, and providing shared lunches for all volunteers to interact and get to know their community. Learning is promoted through providing workshops on cooking, permaculture and sustainability. City Farm Nursery provides a range of organic plants, chemical free products and advice to promote fresh food production in the local community. Farm residents believe that by practicing their activities around these values, they can create an environmentally, socially and economically just world.
NSCF leases its site from Brisbane City Council (BCC) and as part of the leasing process, the team is required to submit a maintenance and development plan every three years for renewal. NSCF also has a Contaminated Land Soil Management Plan agreed with the BCC, and any on-site developments require pre-approval. More than 1,500 exotic and native fruit trees, bush food plants, shrubs and ground covers have been planted on the four-hectare farm site since its inception.
There is an internal design group that oversees the site design to ensure that permaculture design principles and practices are followed. In addition to permaculture design principles, the site also meets the following Healthy Active by Design (HabD) design features:
- Movement Networks - Major cycling routes pass the site and it is close to public transport. There are clear pathways through NSCF which enables safe and convenient access for the thousands of visitors to the site each year.
- Public open space, Healthy Food and Sense of Place - Volunteers and allotment holders have opportunities to engage in physical activity while working in the vegetable gardens and orchards on site. In addition, community members can participate in a composting hub and attend the weekly Farmers Market, which helps to improve community connections and the access to, and availability of fresh and healthy food.
- The site has security lighting, clear routes, and cameras to ensure that users are safe at all times.
The project is ongoing so NSCF undertake regular strategic and operational planning, which are evaluated annually, to ensure organisational goals and objectives are achieved.
- Farm and Site team
- Enterprise and Events Team
- Education and Support Team
The City Farm has been supported over the years by many grants including those from Brisbane City Council and the Gambling Community Benefit Fund.