The ink is dry, the wheels have been set in motion and we are excited to announce the location of our farm! Drumroll please… We will be located on St Johns Avenue, New Town, Tasmania, Australia, Earth. If you are heading North along New Town Rd, go past Kmart, past Ogilve High School then take the next left immediately after the traffic lights, head up the delightful tree lined St Johns Avenue, stop in front of the sandstone church and look to your right. You will see a couple of large conifers, two small buildings and a patch of sunny, grassy ground rich with both history and future growing potential, as represented on this map by a sunflower.
We have drawn up a draft design for the site, which will be released in due course. Onsite work will begin in early January 2015. Some noteworthy site features currently under discussion include a stage, a spectacular living entranceway and a sliding polytunnel. Here the team chillaxing on the grass during our recent dream scheming day.
Site History and Future
This area was the site of one of the first government farms and the King’s Orphan Asylum, completed in 1833, was the first building in the colony built exclusively to house orphans. It was used to train young orphans in farming skills, creating a colonial labour supply. The farm was 120 acres in total, including a herd of dairy cows. The boys were taught to milk and the dairy products used to supply the orphan school and the gaol. While we don’t plan on adopting a clan of orphans to work on our farm, we plan on carrying on the tradition of educating young people on food production. This is a picture taken looking up St Johns Avenue in 1872. In later times the buildings were used to house the mentally ill and as a rehabilitation centre for juvenile male criminals. Currently the site is owned by the Department for Health and Human Services with sections being subleased to various organisations. Hobart City Farm will be one of the first occupants of a Creative Living Park, an innovative long term site redevelopment plan that can wait until a later blog entry.