Brisbane Local Food

Growing local



I wanted to make a group for those who might be a bit more serious about self-reliance. 

I didn't want to use the "prepper" tag because it has become associated with gathering guns and stockpiling heaps of dried/canned goods.  

The farm/home-steader tag seemed a lot more appropriate.  The combination of the two, even better.  

In 2014, I lost power for over a week in the floods.  I always knew we flooded but it was enough of a shock to make me realise that Brisbane isn't immune to delayed repairs.  In a state-wide disaster, you need to be able to manage for at least 4-8 weeks, depending on where you live.  

So, feel free to contribute with your thoughts on resilience, farmsteading, homesteading, prepping etc.  

Location: Brisbane
Members: 12
Latest Activity: on Saturday

Discussion Forum

No grid power

Started by Andrew Cumberland. Last reply by Andrew Cumberland on Saturday. 37 Replies

The loss of the electricity network can happen from flood, fire, solar flares and so many other things.  After my 2014 flood power disaster, I wonder about managing.  I have a wood fire oven, gas…Continue

Skills based survival

Started by Andrew Cumberland. Last reply by Andrew Cumberland Sep 16. 21 Replies

I've put a lot of time into learning basic skills:  cheese making, baking, cooking, wine/beer/spirit making, growing fruit and veg, raising small animals, small scale scale butchering, honey…Continue

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Comment by Andrew Cumberland on August 28, 2021 at 20:17

I don't think any of us are worried about Government takeovers, zombies or other world ending events.  I knew when I named the group that it would cause some concern, that's why I added the "steaders" part. 

For me, I want to help the planet recover.  It so happens that works well with my desire to survive a few months following a disaster.  I remember the first time I was told in a high level briefing that "a national disaster may well require people to be self sufficient at least 3 months before help would come" that I was completely shocked.  Having no power for a week reinforced that feeling. 

Oh what a joyous two situations: help yourself in and after a disaster and contribute to saving the planet.  I won't even mention potentially saving a lot of money at the same time.      

Comment by Dave Riley on August 27, 2021 at 21:37

I wasn't keen to embrace survival discourse because it is so often libertarian driven paranoia.

But sustainability I can relate to.

For me the core principle is overcoming the  Metabolic Rift

The basic idea is that what humans consume we must return, whether literally in the form of human biological waste (which prior to modern municipal systems was an important manure) or in forms of collective waste (the return of collective industrial waste materials) in forms that can be re-consumed by the earth.

A hard ask when it comes to plastics, but pretty doable if you apply yourself.

So nothing leaves my place unless it has to. I may allow sewerage  to freely exit but everything else can selectively stay.

Similarly, when it comes to inputs, aside from seed, I like to forage my own and import animal manures occasionally.

On my tool side are soil microbiology, 4 chickens and 2 dogs.

While that presumes a certain organic quest, that's not absolute because I don't believe you can aggressively recycle waste and be a purist.

In Australia, people forget that a key 'survival' principle is water harvesting. While you may assume that's about putting in water tanks, a better approach would be to harness the water that falls on or passes through your patch by any means necessary. In reality, the best place to store that is underground.

This is what living on aquifers  has taught me. Draining aquifers may be one thing. But replacing the water you take out is just as important.

Mulching helps to store water underground. And while green mulching will also do that, living green mulches also create moist -- and often cooler -- microclimates.

This is how I was led to Vetiver Grass in the first place...and the rest, as they say, is history.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on August 27, 2021 at 11:41

I did it Barb using builder's lime from Bunnings.  You need to top the water level up periodically but I kept mine for a full year and they were fine.  For some reason, the yolks didn't hold together but for all intents they were perfectly good.  

Comment by Barbara Tealby on August 27, 2021 at 7:42

One skill that would be useful -  perhaps necessary - in a self sufficient household, would be that of preserving eggs by 'waterglassing'. Has anyone done this? If so, what was the result, and how did the eggs turn out when used after a couple of months?

I have seen a few youtube videos on this, but they all come from homesteaders in the cooler parts of the US. Does it still work in our subtropical climate? Do you think it would work for Quail eggs?

With the way chooks and quails go off the lay for a few months, a way of preserving the surplus that often happens in the warmer months would make a person self sufficient in eggs over the off times. 

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on August 11, 2021 at 15:33

I had a suspicion there was more folks than just me taking sustainability seriously Cheryl.  I know Susan just did a week long challenge of eating only what you produce yourself.  That was very impressive.  I knew Sophie is of a similar bent and Dave Riley as well.  I'm terribly aware of food miles, and also waste.  Composting not only cut down heaps on our garbage but also provides a very welcome input into the garden.  

Comment by Cheryl Mascali on August 11, 2021 at 10:36

Andrew this is a wonderful initiative, as it would seem to encourage purposefulness and wholistic practice.  I was reading the green page of the BCC, which I do check occasionally and came across the following…

Growing local food

A Consuming Australia report indicated that up to 30% of an Australian’s carbon emissions came from the food they ate, including:

  • raw materials production
  • manufacture
  • packing
  • transport or food miles
  • disposal.

Food miles are the distance food travels from manufacture to your table. It is worth considering that all the food items at a typical Brisbane barbecue may have travelled a combined distance of 200,000 kilometres to reach the table, with items from Europe and America travelling over 15,000 kilometres.

I wonder if it would be interesting to calculate on a day or week the miles saved in a group such as this?   I am also deeply immeshed in a modern philosophical novel about taking and leaving…’Ishmael’. by Daniel Quinn, challenges our relationship with this amazing Planet of which we are a part.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on August 10, 2021 at 21:20

Last I heard Christa, most studies of war zone and disaster survival actually show you need a community to survive.  From memory it was a few hundred people.  Regardless, the point is, the young and fit do the physical work while the less able cook, teach, mind kids and pass on skills and knowledge etc.  There's a reason many societies kept their older folks around. 

To use you and Ian as examples, you know more about plants and stuff than me by heaps.  You are a "researcher" where I just "wing it."  Ian has woodworking, butchering and bee keeping skills.  Actually, I might have to get the old bloke to help teach much some basic butchering and wood work.  The quails are the limit of my butchering and my wood work is ... um.. shall we say, limited?  

I'm actually developing quite a library of books as well now but it doesn't make up for hands on experience.  Your point about camping is the perfect example of that.  

Comment by Christa on August 10, 2021 at 14:44

With this covid about and changing times, we have been conscious of shortages of food and fruit trees etc. 

We have quiet a few tools to help us in rough times.  Anyone who has camped with a family and roughed it a bit, is aware of water shortage and cooking by fire and creating your own power.

The use of medicinal plants and a way of collecting firewood and the use of solar to supplement our needs. Our poinciana trees supplies us with regular fire starters with the beans and dropped branches.  Our generators can help while fuel is available.

I would love to learn how to cook food with a solar cooker.  We have 4 water tanks, but we would have to filter our water with a Berkey water filter.

A few survival type books have been helpful. I doubt that we could be self reliant without the help of friends and family. It would be good to hear from others and how they would be able to handle tough times.  Access to fuel, power, food, water, and medicine.  We still have some old bikes under the house for transport but this old girl is too old to ride a bike now. 


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