Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Hi All, a second posting the same as the on e on the forum so I hope it rreaches plenty of people. Pass the word too..

Mud glorious mud. We have had a lovely day in it today. How are you? Muddy too?

Isn’t it really heartening to see how people are putting in to help others during this flood? Today a couple of us were helping to resurrect the Jane St Community Garden in West End. Across the road businesses that had been submerged were a hive of activity with staff and volunteers cleaning out the mud and water. We were visited by a mum and her 2 boys all the way from Northlakes. They brought food and drinks courtesy of the Northlakes retirement village. Their gumboots were Blundstones donated by a local business for the cleanup effort.

As we were spreading mulch and ‘borrowing’ flooded carpet from the bulging skip over the road, a couple of people wandered past to see if they could lend a hand in the garden. Joanna came by public transport from Coopers Plains and Katrina just happened to come in by bus from Kedron to see if anyone needed help in West End. These two ladies had never had any contact with the Jane St Garden before. Their help was amazing. Together we mulched paths and made it possible to move around in the garden without disappearing into a sticky quagmire.

Today’s job was the framework for the rebuilding of the garden that is needed over the next few days. The community garden has recently lost 8 members as they have moved away from Brisbane. Jacqui, the coordinator has worked 7 days a week for 2 years, together with a great group of new and experienced volunteers to bring it to the showpiece it was at the Australian Open Garden in 2010.

They need help to rebuild. Two working bees are happening Saturday and Sunday this weekend. Can you spare a few hours to help?

Here are some details if you’d like to meet Jacqui, myself and others at the garden.

Where: Corner of Jane and Montague St West End. Next to the Souths Rugby Leagues Club. You may have been there for the weekend markets.

Time: 7am-12md each day to avoid the heat and allow you to help elsewhere if needed or to go home and soak your feet!

What to bring: Kitchen type rubber gloves; towel; plastic bag and a change of clothes; wear gumboots if you have them or old boots. Thongs are too dangerous.

Bring a drink bottle (water available) and a snack for yourself or to share if you have extra.

You may also like to bring a pair of sharp secateurs to do some trimming.


What we may also need: A hand saw for cutting timber; extra spades or forks.


Jobs: If we have enough people we’ll be starting some of the following jobs to help the garden start growing food for Brisbanites again:

  • Rebuilding the garden bed edges
  • Spreading chip bark between beds
  • Hosing down mud covered plants
  • Cleaning off plant signage
  • Trimming back pants and freeing up the pathways of overhanging plants
  • Cleaning up the seed raising area
  • Creating compost with all the ‘stuff’ at hand·         Remulching existing beds
  • Looking in the surrounding streets for materials we can recycle into the garden rather than sending it all off to landfill. One person’s rubbish, and all that…

One persons trash is another's treasure

Please keep your eyes open for some of the following things in skips and laying beside the road ready to be dumped and bring them along to the garden on the weekend or in the next couple of weeks.

  • Timber or sleepers suitable for garden bed edges
  • Durable chairs for the morning tea area
  • A water tank without an owner and ready to be discarded of course! Not looted as my family are keen to point out to me :)
  • Star pickets wire and trellising materials
  • Spoiled wool carpets
  • Old fashioned hessian underlay
  • Hessian sandbags filled with sand and no longer need
  • Large sheets of plastic no longer needed
  • Big white bulk food buckets with handles
  • Council yellow-lidded recycle bin
  • Rubbish bins  

The Perma Blitz group of West End are also looking for private gardens  to resurrect. If you live under the flood level  in West End please call me and I'll put you in contact with Ben.


If you hear of other people in need of practical help, please email me  at with the details so I can get the message out to the 500 or more readers of this newsletter. In this way, we may be able to create another network of assistance to those who are in dire straits now and during the cleanup.  I will also send out regular updates of people and places in need of help.Gt on my email list go to the Eobotanica website and sign up for the Garden harvest enewsletter

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Vetiver grass helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion.  It can protect against pests and weeds. Vetiver is also used as animal feed. (Wiki.)

GrowVetiver is a plant nursery run by Dave & Keir Riley that harvests and grows Vetiver grass for local community applications and use. It is based in Beachmere, just north of Brisbane, Australia.

Place your business add here! ($5 per month or $25 for 9 months)

Talk to Andy on 0422 022 961.  You can  Pay on this link

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