Our Winter Farm

While spring is only days away, we are still very much in winter down here. There’s snow on the mountain, we can see our breath in the mornings and we’re still wearing at least two jumpers. And the farm? Well the farm is taking shape – it’s beautiful and we love it. Have a look…



The bulk of the farm is currently under mixed green manures (broad beans, rye and lupens ), building soil health and getting ready for spring/summer crops.


Our garlic is looking mighty fine. After a slow start, it’s now coming on strong, we put it in a touch late (hence its shortness), however we’ve got another 3-4 months in the ground, so she’ll be more than right.

IMG_3986We planted a variety called Dunganski, sourced from local farmer, Tony Shearer (thanks Tony). If you’re in Hobart or southern Tasmania this summer, you know where you can get your garlic from!


We spaced the garlic evenly to make for easy weeding. James made this fantastic roller tool (below) that marked out the holes for the garlic, meaning we could come in behind him and pop the garlic in super quickly. It’s these types of tools which make this type of farming efficient, effective and therefore viable. Good tools will change your life – get them (or make them), they’re worth it.



We now also have a very fine shed which we more than like, especially since we painted the doors to make sure people know exactly where they are.


It looks after our tools, seeds and bits and pieces. Over time it will grow slightly to include a lean-to for washing/processing veggies as well as providing a sheltered space to work from and admire the world.


In preparation for some serious nutrient cycling, we’ve made four worm farms from old bath tubs. No organic waste will leave our site, instead it’ll be cycled through our worm farms or through large compost piles. We expect that we’ll also need to bring in bulk compost seasonally as we don’t have enough space or capacity to make everything we need. Once the weather warms up, we’ll get these worm farms working so they can help provide valuable nutrients to make sure the crops are as healthy as can be.


And the heritage pine tree, which we initially saw as a limitation to farming has now become one of our favourite things about the site, shaping the social space for the farm. At our ‘winter warming’ opening launch (in May) we had over 300 people comfortably lounging beneath this beauty!


IMG_3997Our next big job is to set up our massive, awesome steel frame *hot house*, we are beyond excited. It’s 15m long and around 4m wide, meaning we’ll be able to extend the season for a good range of crops which is a real game changer in our cool temperate climate.

IMG_4028And here’s our youngest farmer – Frida Maria, she specialises in supervising, eating dirt (it’s good for you, you know) and making sure we have regular breaks for cuddles and food.

We’re looking forward to our first big growing season. The crop planning has been done (talk about a mind bending exercise), the seeds are on their way and we’re pumped. Get ready Hobart, we’re going to have a whole bunch of edible goodness coming your way in a few short months!

Turning The Story Around – Kickstart Arts Centre Launch

Hello valued website checkers!
Our neighbours/friends/landlords at Kickstart Arts are having a big party to celebrate the grand opening of their recently renovated arts centre on the 21st and 22nd of August.

Here are some of the things they have planned:

WELCOME CEREMONY- acknowledgement of Aboriginal custodianship of the land with some of Tasmania’s leading Aboriginal performers. Ceremony commemorating the past orphan residents, smoking ceremony and healing the spirit of place.

SCULPTURE SLAM – creative mayhem with 12 teams of sculpture warriors battling it out for the Ultimate Prize

CHUPACABRA – lusty Latin tunes from local wonders

SEBLE GIRMA – Ethiopian diva sings BREAKING and MKONO KWA MKONO with Don Bate, Michael Fortescue, Lawrence Big Money Gino & Max Bladel

SECOND ECHO – in the Story Room

THE BEST OF THE HAPPINESS FILMS – Short films about Happiness from all over the island. What more could you want?



Food and drinks available

community@kickstart.org.au or 03 62280611 Mon – Thurs 9:30 – 2:30

Facebook event page
Kickstart Arts Facebook page
Kickstart Arts website

Hobart City Farm has received funding!

HFlogoGreat news! Hobart City Farm has received funding through the Healthy Food Access Tasmania Project (led by the Heart Foundation and funded by Tasmanian  Medicare local). The funds are to support establishing the farm and connecting with local community based opportunities to sell the produce to local residents.

We are really excited by the opportunities for cross-collaboration, and will be using the funds for wages to help get the farm off the ground until we start selling our produce later this year.

Winter Warming Opening Party

Hear ye, hear ye, all Hobart City Farmin’ enthusiasts, friends, supporters, neighbours, family members et al.

You are hereby invited to attend an upcoming community function (Party).

We’ve been working hard getting things up and running and now it is time to have some funs.

Saturday 6th June 2:00pm-4:00pm at the farm on St Johns Ave, Newtown.

Available funs including but not limited to:
Site tours!
Live music!
Costa Georgiadis!
Farm games!

You can find more information on the poster below and on the event page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/353818581482126/

In related news:
This morning Hannah and James chatted briefly to Ryk Goddard on ABC 936 about the farm and our upcoming party. Have a listen here.

Poster-Farm Launch

Hobart City Farm Draft Sketch

Draft sketches are great things. Here is one we came up with late last year and gives a good overview of what we are up to. 🙂


Get in on the action!

HCF 25_2_15Well summer’s officially over but rest assured we haven’t been resting on our laurels down at the Hobart City Farm. From the photo above you can we’ve tilled the earth and installed our perimeter fencing. We also spent quite a while discovering and digging up a few decades worth of old pipes!

We are now on our way to forming beds, making paths, incorporating lots of organic matter into the hungry soils and getting in those delicious winter crops.

If you’d like to get in on the action we’d love your help!

Our next working bee will be on Saturday 7th March from 10am – 1pm, at the top of St John’s Avenue, Newtown.

Please bring sturdy boots, gardening gloves, a hat, some water, a wheelbarrow, shovel and lots of cardboard for sheet mulching if you have them. RSVP to james@hobartcityfarm.com – we hope to see you there!

Can you dig it?

Greetings valued blog readers, we have broken new ground at HCF HQ over the last week. The omniscient “they” say that the only job where you start at the top is digging a hole and we have been digging plenty.

Before we dug anything up we used http://1100.com.au/ to get a free map supposedly showing all underground services, water mains pipes, telecommunications cables and sewers.

After digging a few exploratory holes we found that some of the mapped infrastructure was not exactly where it was supposed to be and that there was additional unmapped irrigation system which we mapped and marked above ground with paint.


Here is Brad with his machine that goes beep, beep, beep, BOOOOP when it detects the signal running through a phone line, buried a mere 300mm below the surface.


This is what a telecommunications pit is not supposed to look like, brimming with water, numerous wires broken, all wires exposed, still live apparently.


Here is James practicing his amateur Archaeology.


Here is me (Sam) perched victoriously upon a conquered stump.


Finally here is Matthew piloting his stump grinder today, he did an excellent job avoiding a flimsy copper water mains pipe, buried 200mm deep, that went directly under a stump whilst still grinding off enough to enable easy removal of the last of the roots.

Next on the agenda is building fences, tilling the soil to sow a green manure crop and creating a social zone that feels nice.

We will be on ABC 936 radio tomorrow from 8:30-9:00 or thereabouts to talk all things Hobart City Farm.

Hobart City Farm Site Announcement!

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.

group pic

Site History and Future

This area was the sitoldpice 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.

Costa is on board!


We’re thrilled to have Costa Georgiadis from ABC Gardening Australia join our team as our very own ambassador for the Hobart City Farm. Nothing’s going to stop us now!

Here’s what he has to say about our project:

“Some of the best news to come down the line to close out 2014 was the announcement that Hobart was going to develop a City Farm of its own.”

“The knowledge base down in Hobart and the potential for this project is just oozing out of the formwork and visionary frame. Really looking forward to being involved with this and watching it jump out of the ground over the months and years ahead. Watch this exciting space burst out of the ground in 2015.”