Brisbane Local Food

Growing local


Frugal Fellows

Frugal: (my definition):  

  1. people who want a good deal
  2. opposed to wasting money or paying more than required.

Fellow.  Webster definitions:

  1. a member of a group of people who have shared interests, activities, etc
  2. an equal in rank, power, or character : peer
  3. a member of a group having common characteristics; specifically :  a member of an incorporated literary or scientific society.

Group Mission: I was asked to create a more permanent place where members could post links or information about great deals.  The group name was also suggested to me but I was delighted by the dictionary definitions of the word "fellow."

Please do not advertise your own goods here.  Members may only advertise other members' goods if they can demonstrate it is a genuinely frugal offer. 

Members: 24
Latest Activity: Jul 23, 2019

Discussion Forum

Looking for established fruit trees, economically.

Started by Becky. Last reply by Becky Jul 21, 2019. 4 Replies

Hi All,Due to my husband's health and disability (he was the green thumb in the family), we have moved back to our humble home with a barren lawn and would like to reestablish an edible garden.  We…Continue

Buy Better with Barter

Started by Andrew Cumberland. Last reply by Andrew Cumberland Feb 20, 2016. 4 Replies

A place for Barter posts, great and small. If you have a particular thing that you wish to barter, please do a post under "Buy sell swap" for that item.  That will work better for you.  Continue

Tags: swap, barter


Started by Dianne Caswell. Last reply by Andrew Cumberland Feb 9, 2016. 3 Replies

I have used spent Coffee Grounds on my Vegetable Garden and Potted Fruit Trees for some time now and have found the practice to be very successful. They are also most beneficial to add to the compost…Continue

Tags: Potted, Fruit, Trees, Garden, Vegetable

Comment Wall

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Comment by Becky on July 20, 2019 at 11:01

Does anyone have a homemade weed and feed recipe where the whole lawn (rather than targeting specific areas) can be sprayed without burning the grass?

My initial search leads me to granulated corn gluten meal.  And I wondered, if GMO corn products used on lawn has a bad rap as does consuming it.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on June 15, 2017 at 19:34

That's a bummer Sophie but a great idea to see if anyone has a use for it. 

Comment by Sophie on June 15, 2017 at 8:03
Hi frugal friends, I've made a batch of lime marmalade with Dianne's limes using Matt Preston's recipe (can't help but think he missed out a step) and personally not a fan of its pithy after taste. Not all tastebuds are the same so I thought I'd reach out - if you like the taste of campari & are not adverse to that white pithy after taste, please let me know as I have a large batch to off load. It has set nicely Thanks
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on October 13, 2016 at 19:52

From what I read, 'fresh' is only best if you are putting the bed down to compost well before use. Fresh can contain vermicides and whatever other drugs were given to the horses/cattle. I read that it can 'burn' plants - meaning that the concentration of solution outside of the plant cells draws water from the plant cells to try and equalise the solution concentration. Sounds klunky and weird but it amounts to the plant killing itself by pumping its water outside of itself rather than using the water for its own growth.

We 'grew' the best ever Rockmelons from some fresh cow manure we bought locally. Didn't bother the Rockmelons! So who knows ... perhaps it's a matter of experience what direction you travel in.

Comment by Dianne Caswell on October 13, 2016 at 19:44

Oh, I bought my Horse Manure/Compost from Tim, I asked for aged. Though Tim actually says Fresh is better but it is on the nose.

Comment by Dianne Caswell on October 13, 2016 at 19:41

I agree with Roger, Gayle. I had branches of a very big tree cut off and they turned into mulch which they left for me. I added, some of our own compost, bought good quality compost, manure, straw, grass clippings, veg scraps, twigs and all manner of leaves and veg scraps.

We now have 2 x Mangos, an Avocado and Davidson Plum living Happily in this medium. I also used Sea Weed Solution and Seamungus in between layers as well as a good sprinkling of Diatomaceous Earth.

Comment by Roger Clark on October 13, 2016 at 7:58

My solution to provide a cheapish growing medium for a large area would be to use a truck load of wood / forest mulch and mix it with either mushroom compost and / or manures of any description. The forest mulch provides bulk, but would also need a nitrogen source to enable it to break down into humus. The microbes / fungi need nitrogen to break down woody material. Otherwise the breakdown would be very slow and any plants would suffer a nitrogen deficiency. There is a website called Mulchnet, where if you are lucky enough to be in the right area, you may be able to get free mulch delivered, or you may be able to just pay for delivery and get the mulch free. There's always risk that you don't know what is in the mulch, but It's generally just ground up trees, etc. It's probably the most economic solution for large scale soil generation.

Comment by Jeff Kiehne on October 13, 2016 at 5:16

Swimming pool  repurposed into a watertank is the pool empty  you can have problems with pools if empty  and get wet weather  and the water in the ground can lift the pool out of ground or cause damage.

The one who removed the concrete does he have any soil with all the development in Brisbane lots of topsoil available.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on October 12, 2016 at 13:06

A possible solution would be some wicking beds. Home made ones with a plastic liner perhaps. They do not have to be fancy with geofabric and certainly not using sand or gravel for the bottom layer.

Apart from that, building up as you suggested with lots of layers of organic and non-organic (e.g. Vermiculite) materials. I do sometimes buy Searle's compost it seems OK. I suggest though that you get a big load of Mushroom Compost, giving you lots of bulk without weed seeds.

Then you add all your kitchen scraps for a while plus some compost to get the microbes going. Then add a cover crop and by summer's end you'll have good soil. The time spent in preparation is well worth it, just like painting, prep is more than half of the job. For cover crop buy some bags of mixed bird seeds. Pre-soak the seeds in bulk, broadcast and cover with some el-cheepo potting mix, keeping damp with a fine spray each day. Oh and wet the bottom layers before you sow.

Bought anythings for the garden potentially bring headaches with them. Searle's mushroom compost used to be tops and it has degraded over the years into something I no longer use. Their 5 in 1 was fabulous and now is just krud.

You've got a big job and if you can get a truck to back in and drop its load, it would be cheaper to buy in bulk. Lots of extra shovelling though.

Just make sure the garden beds are not too wide to reach across. Ideally island ones to walk around.

I never dig!

Comment by GayleD on October 12, 2016 at 10:36

Now that the swimming pool is being repurposed into a watertank, I have 40sqm of new planting space.  It is solid clay with a shallow layer of sand on top and its been under paving for 10+ years. The clay would have been subsoil on a cut and fill block.

So, how to turn it into soil that plants can grow in without spending too much?  I'm not big on digging - prefer to put stuff on top and let the worms and plant roots do their job.

I'm thinking I need gypsum, various manures, lots and lots of stray/hay/cane mulch - with some help from the worm farms.  Maybe a green manure crop with all the old seeds I can find.

Toying with the idea of bulk compost eg but not cheap and I worry what might be in bought compost.

Thoughts?  And anyone know a source of cheap hay/cane?


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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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