Beelarong Community Farm Inc
and Sustainable Living Centre
PO Box 350 MORNINGSIDE Queensland 4170
25 January, 2001
Beelarong Community Farm is a small farm in the centre of Brisbane where people can enjoy their leisure in a farm setting. Run by volunteers the land was supplied by Brisbane City Council, and since its inception in 1996 has been supported by Councillor Sharon Humphreys of Brisbane City Council.
It also serves as a model for urban dwellers of Permaculture and sustainable living. Visitors can see the entire system, from the collection of rainwater, to the use of this water for the composting toilet, use of solar energy to generate electricity, to power the pumps, and then the reticulation of the treated water which is then transformed into plants and flowers.
Even the area lights on the farm are solar powered. Regular courses are held on solar cooking using solar ovens.
There is a clear demonstration that wastewater such as grey water from washing, or effluent from toilets, can be recycled if treated properly. It is also a demonstration of how to turn an effluent problem into an oxygen generation opportunity.
The facility is a demonstration of urban sustainability for large area users such as local government and industry.
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The farm is also constructing a unique design where the grey water of a house (shower and bath and laundry) is cleaned and used to irrigate a garden, which is built onto the house. Vegetables and flowers can be grown and tended without the owners having to go outside in the sun or rain.
Outside the house a raised-bed garden has been built for older people to access without bending, or disabled people in wheelchairs can tend the garden in the shade of a shadecloth roof.
Permaculture principles are used throughout. No chemical fertilisers, insecticides, or pesticides are used. Instead, no-dig gardens supply their own fertiliser (ground in most of the farm has been transformed so that it is now full of earthworms.)
Ditches catch rainwater runoff, and weed barriers of lemon grass and comfrey prevent the spread of weeds. Community gardens have been set up so that people can tend their own garden and grow fresh vegetables and flowers.
At the lower sector of the farm is a creek frontage, and a tidal lagoon demonstrates a wetlands area.
Visitors are welcome to visit the farm Wednesday mornings, at York Street, Morningside.
At the lower section of the farm is a creek frontage, and a tidal lagoon demonstrates a wetlands area.
Visitors tend community gardens to grow their own herbs and vegetables, and regular courses are held on permaculture, no-dig gardening, camp cooking, use of herbs, and portable gardening.
Picnic facilities are available for visitors in this delightful setting.
of Tomorrow Revisited:
Community Supported Farms Farm Supported Communities
by Steven McFadden, Trauger M. Groh
of the Small Family Farm:
A Handbook for Starting a Successful Organic Farm Based on the Concepts of Community Supported Agriculture
by Bob Gregson
|This timely sequel to the popular inspirational blueprint for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is set to guide this rapidly growing movement to the next stage in its development. The authors provide very practical examples and information that will be of service to growers and shareholders alike without losing sight of the heart and excitement that makes CSA central to the renewal of agriculture.||Lots of information for the 1st-time, small acreage
Reviewer: A reader from Seattle, WA June 8, 1999
The Gregsons came from an urban life out to make a small farm. Through many trials and errors (which they humbly share) they have found a successful formula for earning a sustainable income from a few acres. This is a must read for anyone considering a CSA farm.
Northey Street City Farm - Manly Village Public School
Recommended Specialty Community Books delivered worldwide from Amazon
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Beelarong Community Farm in Morningside, with assistance from Brisbane City Council, and the Environmental Protection Agency (Sustainable Energy Systems and Queensland Water Recycling Strategy) is now moving towards a demonstration Sustainable Living Centre.
As well as providing a recreation area in an attractive farm setting, Beelarong serves to indicate how city residents can move towards a sustainable lifestyle, with improved health and well being. The Farm shows how city residents, can free themselves from the grid with solar power, rainwater and stormwater harvesting for economy and health, solar ovens for pollution and energy free cooking, savings by shower and bathwater recycling, worm farms for recycling wastes, self-sufficiency and health in chemical free Permaculture food production.
Several radical innovations which should interest Permaculture people are the harvesting of stormwater from street gutters into swales, the use of biological means to clean and recycle greywater, use of flowforms to reduce bacteria levels in water, and the first flushing compost toilet in Brisbane by which nutrients are recycled back into the garden.