Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Along with 170 others, I had the privilege of attending a great workshop with Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms at Beerwah on the Sunny Coast recently. It was hosted by RegenAG and MC'd by the one and only Costa Georgiadis, of Costa's Odyssey on SBS.


Joel focuses on chemical free natural farming methods and his Polyface Farms mantra is "We're healing the planet one bite at a time." He is incredibly knowledgeable about animal management systems and integrating different animals with each other and vegetation for maximum benefit without damaging the planet.  Whilst it was a day packed with information I thought I'd briefly share some of the key points applicable to growing in our own backyards.

  • Work with nature.
  • Favourite quote “Food security starts by taking care of our own backyards.”
  • When we learn more about the source of our food, eating becomes a conscious moral act.
  • We are utterly dependent on the invisible beings in our soil. Feed our soil.
  • We need to recognise nature’s accounting system – including honouring and respecting animals.
  • We can all turn the sun’s energy into something (food is a good start).
  • We can all learn an amazing amount from biomimicry – imitating nature’s patterns.
  • Seeds and weeds are there waiting to explode into diversified vegetation with the right disturbance.
  • Studies have found that if a chicken eats one blade of grass/day it’s immune to avian flu. 


You can find a wealth of additional resources at RegenAG.  Ecofilms also videoed the day - you can get a flavour for what was on the menu here.  They make some great short videos that you can view online too.

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Comment by Anne Gibson on August 30, 2011 at 18:07

It's the collaborative efforts of each person doing a little bit that has far reaching impacts! We never know where the seeds we sow will grow!

One of my favourite quotes is from Margaret Mead:

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Keep digging! Keep growing!  Keep sharing!  :)

Comment by Lissa on August 30, 2011 at 16:43

Yes, it would have been wonderful to attend. Thank you for the summary Anne.

I'm plugging away, trying to do my little bit and influence others to give it a go.

Comment by Scarlett on August 29, 2011 at 18:21
I do wish i'd been able to come
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on August 25, 2011 at 17:04
Interview with Joel and ABC Canberra reporter - mind-boggling statistics on un-used urban land for example. Worth 10 minutes to hear good sense.
Comment by Anne Gibson on August 18, 2011 at 15:56
Glad this was useful - it's hard to summarise a whole day especially when a lot of it is not relelvant to urban backyards.  There are 3 videos on Polyface Farms on Green Journey too if you're interested.
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on August 18, 2011 at 15:48
Excellent, Anne - thank you! Not likely to get to hear him in person so this is a useful substitute.

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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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