Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Where to update.

A year ago I was put in the position of having to sell my home, well established food garden and bee hives. Painful to say the least, especially as the agreed trigger to sell was the passing of my last two dogs. 

As I owned only half of the house there was never going to be enough left over to buy another house....even if I could get another loan at my age I simply didn't want a mortgage hanging over my head.

Rent? (Expensive and would require me to keep working in the area I was renting.)

Buy a mobile home and travel? (Expensive and would require me to give up my income and have one clumsy mode of transport.) 

House sit? (Save the money not spent on a mortgage and utilities, sounded good. Move around a lot, not so good.)

Well, I obviously chose the last one and I have been house/pet sitting for the past year while saving madly so I can have some time off to relax in 2018.

I am on around my 9th or 10th house sit and at Chapel Hill at the moment and I haven't had an empty day anywhere (knock on wood) and am currently booked up until September 2018 (a couple of gaps but they will be filled). The shortest sit was for two weeks for a friend - I took my holidays and just holidayed with her gorgeous pets at a beautiful location in Dayboro and the longest 4mths. Usual sit length is a month.

I bought a big car with an interior that all folds down to carry my day to day stuff and all the rest went into storage.

It took some mental gymnastics but I eventually embraced the unusual state of freedom that I found myself in ie kids all grown and gone, no house, no pets. Just me and my car and the ability to do pretty much whatever I want. The lure of travelling up the Queensland coast, going from sit to sit, was strong, but I have elderly parents on Bribie and after deliberation I have decided to head there and be available to help them out. My Father has made it clear that they are "independant and don't need my assistance" but Mum is keen to have me nearby and Dad will get used to it eventually!! I will just "hover".

So I have been saving for a year, have just quit my FT job and will move to the Bribie area in two weeks. I do have one sit for another friend at Mango Hill but then it should all be Bribie. Eventually I will either rent some place of my own so I can create another food garden or I will move in with Mum once Dad passes...and create another food garden.

I hope to do some volunteer work in aged care as I love working with the oldies. They have such a wonderful outlook on life and enjoy each day. I hope to do some art classes, yoga/pilates classes and whatever else I find that looks like a bit of fun.

It's unlikely that I will be attending many GV's in the Brisbane region, but, once I have a garden of my own again I will invite anyone willing up to Bribie. If you are on the island give me a ring and I would love to catch up.

Below is a photo taken by one of my sisters (sisters, brother, nieces, nephews and more all still live on the island or nearby).

Image may contain: sky, cloud, ocean, tree, outdoor, nature and water

And I'll add another shot just taken by my other sister....

Image may contain: sky, tree, plant, outdoor, nature and water

Views: 303

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of Brisbane Local Food to add comments!

Join Brisbane Local Food

Comment by gabrielle austerberry on December 28, 2017 at 13:03

Very brave choices. You may be interested in helping this along, fresh off the press:

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on December 27, 2017 at 6:17

Interesting stats, thanks Dave. There was a serious outbreak of Lyngbya mid 2000s, boy the pong! To say nothing of its toxicity. There's still plenty of creatures living in that mud though. Rich stuff. Crabs of small species, mud whelks and mud skippers. Low tide is busy with little lives scurrying about and a few and increasing numbers of wading birds happily munching on whatever they find which moves.

Comment by Dave Riley on December 26, 2017 at 23:19

You got me thinking Elaine so I did some follow up:Bioturbated mud -- thanks no doubt to the Caboolture River outflow and upriver run off.

Consequence: along with the impact of lyngbya, sea grass death.

Key points: LINK

  • Area of mud at Moreton Bay doubled over past 45 years
  • Mud now covers more than 50pc of bay's floor
  • Sediment suffocating seagrass that attracts turtles, dugongs

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on December 23, 2017 at 22:01

Gorgeous photos! It is a delightful spot, one of the best.

Weird how from Red Beach, Deception Bay seems on the other side of the Universe yet looking at Bribie from the DBay waterfront, it seems ridiculously close. And far more wallowable than the muddy shallows of our part of Deception Bay.

Comment by Dave Riley on December 23, 2017 at 19:05

Here we are at our favorite spot: at the mouth of Pumicestone Passage. Spent high tide there today, wallowing.

Bribie and surrounds is a great place to wallow.

Comment by Lissa on December 23, 2017 at 17:26

All part of the "grand plan" Cheryl....which of course is entirely flexible! I believe in having a plan but not sticking to it if it doesn't suit me ;)

Comment by CHERYL SLAPP on December 23, 2017 at 17:23

So glad to hear you are forging another path for yourself.  Your journey has been challenging but I'm sure enjoyable.  New venture, new outlook on life.  Hopefully catch up with you soon.  Have a very Merry Christmas and New Year

Comment by Lissa on December 23, 2017 at 17:12

The sand, yes, very familiar with that Dave. This time around on the island I know about wicking beds though!

Thanks Christa. The settling down bit all depends on what happens with my parents. The Sunshine Coast is the area that has always called to me but Bribie is beautiful. As Dave reminds us, lots of sand, not good for a gardener. Whereas the SC has areas of volcanic soil. We'll see :)

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on December 23, 2017 at 9:30

Thank you for the update, Lissa. You have had an eventful year!

Gorgeous photo. With a bit of wild imagination, we could almost wave to each other from across the Bay.

Comment by Dave Riley on December 23, 2017 at 8:52

Welcome to the sand...

Important note about adding photos:

Always add photos using the "From my computer" option, even if you are on a mobile phone or other device.


  • Add Photos
  • View All


  • Add Videos
  • View All


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

© 2021   Created by Andrew Cumberland.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service