Review of Queen Street Markets

qut-markets-flowers
For the last couple of weeks I have been sampling a different lunch at the Jan Powers Queen Street markets in the Brisbane City.

  • Bagel Boys – are excellent. They are always popular so you have to line up, but the time goes pretty quickly.
  • At the Skinny Scoop I had an icy cold acai classic bowl, topped with muesli and fresh fruit. It was yummy but perhaps more suited to the warmer months.
  • The Pocket from Burleigh make delicious falafel with fresh salad in a pita bread. Recommended.
  • Goetzinger Small goods make good German Sausages, but it is filling. They serve Swiss and German style sausages in a hot dog style bun.

Other produce you can buy at the city markets are as follows:

  • Goat Pie Guy – I have previously had Goat Pies from the Goat Pie Guy and I highly recommend them to take home and pop in the oven for a quick and delicious meal. Unfortunately they don’t sell them hot at the city markets.
  • Good Mix is a combination of superfoods to have instead of your regular muesli – Chia seeds, almonds, pepitas, coconut, buckwheat, flaxseed, sesame seeds, goji berries, raw cacao nibs, puffed amaranth, puffed millet.
  • Iced Tea – I’ve tried the mojito and raspberry iced tea, and both were refreshing.
  • I Heart Brownies – I tried the Jaffa flavoured brownie from I Heart Brownies. It was rich chocolaty and orange flavoured cake in the shape of a heart.
  • The Popcorn Man – is very morish, but one big bag is better shared with a group of people.
  • Delicious flavoured peanuts from the Peanut Van make a great snack.

The Queen Street markets may be crowded at lunch time, but are worth while to try some of Brisbane’s best produce.

Northey Street City Farm tour

Northey Farm Tours sign

Northey Street City Farm is a permaculture garden in the centre of Brisbane. It is located on 2 hectares of flood-prone area, which is leased from the Brisbane City Council.

buliding

In Zone One is the cafe, kitchen gardens and building. The building has been positioned on poles so that it is at the highest point of a 1 in 100 years flood, so that it will not be flooded. The kitchen gardens are for demonstration purposes and are in the shape of keyholes to maximise the output.

There are at least three large meeting places which can be used by visiting groups, but in particular school groups.

Bob gave us an eye-opening demonstration of earth art.

Across the road, there is a regeneration area, which is maintained by the local Bush Care group. There are also groves of native fruit trees in outer zones.

compost

There is a dedicated green waste recycling centre, which includes a large worm farm and compost tunnels. They use the worm liquid to fertilise their plants, rather than as castings. Northey St uses a three bay compost system to rotate the waste matter.

chicken

There are three chicken tractors and these are moved every fortnight.

Also across the road are the productive gardens for the markets and lunches. The new vegetable beds are made up of cardboard, compost and straw. Northey St use the no-dig technique and the beds are raised to make the most of mini floods. They plant open-pollinated seeds and collect them again for saving.

allotments

Nearby are the allotments which are available for hire. Some people are using nets to keep the bush turkeys away.

orchard

There is also a citrus orchard and this area includes sub-tropical fruit trees. As an investment in the future, there is a grove of hardwood trees which will be harvested in 20 years time.

Northey Street Farm sign

There is a nursery on site called Edible Landscapes Organic Nursery. The organic markets are held in the car park on every Sunday.

Thank you to Northey Street City Farm for the free tour. Tours are held every Tuesday at 9:30pm and highly recommended. 

Plants for honey bees

northey-honey

It is important to encourage bees to our gardens, so that they can help pollinate our fruit and vegetables. The best plants to grow are nectar-producing natives and flowering plants such as basil, borage, catmint, coriander, cornflowers, fennel, garlic chives, heather, hyssop, lavender (heirloom varieties), lemon balm, marigolds, mint, rosemary, scabious and sea holly, thyme.

Jerry Coleby-Williams recommends growing begonias, blue ginger, pigeon peas and salvias to encourage the native Blue Banded bees. He also says:

There’s a lot more I’d recommend, but one crop that is often overlooked is corn – for its pollen.

I’ve planted Eucalyptus tereticornis and Melaleuca leucadendron in my street for honeybees.

I use ‘Honey Flora of Qld’, by S.T. Blake & C. Roff, published by DPI Qld, ISBN 0-7242-2371-1″>0-7242-2371-1 as a standard reference book.

If you aim for a variety of different plants which flower at different times of the year, you’ll have more success with encouraging bees.

Northey Street City Farm honey

The Essential Urban Farmer

In this indispensable guide, Farm City author Novella Carpenter and Willow Rosenthal share their experience as successful urban farmers and provide practical blueprints-complete with rich visual material-for novice and experienced growers looking to bring the principles of ethical food to the city streets. The Essential Urban Farmer guides readers from day one to market day, advising on how to find the perfect site, design a landscape, and cultivate crops. For anyone who has ever grown herbs on windowsills, or tomatoes on fire escapes, this is an invaluable volume with the potential to change our menus, our health, and our cities forever.

Resources

Book review: Share – The Northey Street City Farm Cookbook

Another one of our recipes is featured in “Share – The Northey Street City Farm Cookbook”.

It’s a well-designed cookbook with full colour pages. There is a distinct Australian influence and the recipes feature unusual fruit and vegetables typically found in a permaculture garden. The majority of the recipes are vegetarian and I’m looking forward to trying the stir-fried bush greens with lemon myrtle dressing, macadamia plum cookies and wattleseed scones.

Share retails for $20 plus $3 per copy postage and handling. You can also buy your books  at the Northey Street City Farm (NSCF) Nursery to save postage costs. Or pick one up at the weekly Sunday organic markets. Alternatively, download an order form and send or fax it to Kym at NSCF, or email: cookbook@nscf.org.au.