Lee Duffield

Edited by Lee Duffield
Freedom and Truth

Brisbane fair encourages grow-your-own vegies

CitySmart: A Brisbane City Council display with information about working towards a more sustainable Brisbane. Photo: Michelle Thomas

CitySmart: A Brisbane City Council display with information about working towards a more sustainable Brisbane. Photo: Michelle Thomas

Last Sunday saw Brisbane’s southside host to the City Council’s Green Heart Fair, which featured workshops aimed at educating residents about sustainability around the home.

Along with sustainability displays, the fair – the second of its kind this year – also featured entertainment, activities and markets, all free for attendees.

The event was hosted at Mt Gravatt Showgrounds and Melody File, marketing manager of the Green Heart City Smart Fair, said the Brisbane City Council ran workshops aimed at encouraging and educating residents to embrace sustainability.

“A lot of [the workshops were on] on Green Gardening and growing your own vegies,” she said.

“These have been very popular in the past.”

Ms File said the fair had over 35 exhibitors displaying products designed to encourage Brisbane residents to make their homes more ecologically sustainable.

She said vendors exhibited everything from a sustainable electric bike, a new type of composting bin, solar hot water systems, and cooking with gas in the kitchen.

Ms File also said the Brisbane City Council hoped the fair spreads positive thoughts within the community about working towards a sustainable Brisbane.

“The fair is [designed] to educate,” she said.

“It’s to help people see it’s not too hard to be sustainable and there’s some really simple things, like growing their own food … that can help them be more sustainable.”

‘City chicks’

A company cashing in on the newfound popularity of home-growing is City Chicks, based at The Gap, who specialise in facilitating home gardening needs.

Ingrid Dimock, owner of City Chicks, said business was booming, with many people embracing a sustainable way of living.

“Interest [in growing your own vegies] is surging because of businesses like mine and the media, who are promoting self-sufficiency and economical ways to grow your own food,” she said.

Ms Dimock said the surge towards home-growing can also be attributed to people being more inquisitive about what they eat.

“People want to know a little bit more about where their food comes from,” she said.

“By growing their own, or even shopping locally at a farmer’s market, it means that they are able to identify the origin of the plant, or support a local business.”

Ms Dimock also said that home grown food means that growers are aware of the pesticides used, if any, while being outside and enjoying the environment.

Colourful Community: The entrance to Northey Street's City Farm. Photo: Michelle Thomas

Colourful community: The entrance to Northey Street's Brisbane City Farm. Photo: Michelle Thomas

Green thumb communities

For those who cannot have a backyard veggie patch can contribute to a sustainable Brisbane and get fresh air at community gardens like Northey Street City Farm in Windsor on the city’s northside.

Northey Street operations coordinator Rossco Perrin said the Windsor farm continues to grow every week.

“We see many people come down each week to enjoy the outdoors, who either contribute to the gardens, or attend the organic markets on Sundays,” he said.

But Mr Perrin said patrons of Northey Street do not come just for the sustainable gardening experience.

“People come for the sense of community,” he said.

“This is a place where like-minded people can escape the car fumes and come and contribute to a ecologically sustainable practice, while feeling like they’re a part of a community.”

Mr Perrin also said along with the other positive aspects of growing your own produce, gardening with your family establishes a culture of respecting the environment and eating well.

“By growing vegies at home with your kids are you teaching them about creating a sustainable future and ensuring that they are eating good, wholesome food,” he said.

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