Within cooee of the writhing transport interchange on Brisbane’s Northside, there’s a block of land where splashes of paint and untidy gardens make you wonder if hippies have invaded the inner-city suburbs. It’s Northey Street City Farm — a non-profit permaculture hub where innovations take root, ideas blossom and food grows.

Northey Street City Farm, September 2012
Northey Street City Farm provides the space and the skills and the knowledge for people to learn how to grow food organically.

Northey Street City Farm, September 2012
Over the last ten years, volunteers have transformed this dull park into a vibrant community hub that promotes sustainable lifestyle and gardening practices.

Northey Street City Farm, September 2012
Allotments are available for those who want to try gardening in their own little section.

Northey Street City Farm, September 2012
The kitchen garden grows food for meals that are sold from the on-site café.

Northey Street City Farm, September 2012
The facilities are painted with multicoloured paints — adding a cheerful atmosphere to the utilitarian sheds dotted around the grounds.

Our girls at Northey Street City Farm, September 2012
Children are welcome at the city farm — they have their own designated gardens.

Our girls at Northey Street City Farm, September 2012
Toys are available for us to use while we visit.

Native bees at Northey Street City Farm, September 2012
Delaney and Calista examine a bee hive.

Native bees at Northey Street City Farm, September 2012
Australian native bees are tiny and sting-less. They look more like flies than bumblebees.

Our girls at Northey Street City Farm, September 2012
A friendly donation bird-box invites us to feed it and make a wish.

Rooster at Northey Street City Farm, September 2012
The resident rooster is probably the largest I've ever seen. It's as tall as Delaney, and a little sign warns us that it likes to bite.

Our girls at Northey Street City Farm, September 2012
Nasturtiums are sprawling everywhere, and the girls pick a couple to play with. "Hello," says Calista's. "Hello," replies Dell. I love the way the girls can personify everything!

Bob McMahon at Northey Street City Farm, September 2012
The talented artist Bob McMahon demonstrates his ingenious flute made from recycled materials.

Totem carved by Bob McMahon, Northey Street City Farm, September 2012
Bob has decorated so many signs and pillars around the grounds. It's a delight to see his work in unexpected places.

Northey Street City Farm, September 2012
Recycled newspapers are mixed with clay to make a durable art medium that can be applied to different surfaces.

Northey Street City Farm, September 2012
Bob McMahon's fine artwork amazes me with its variety and detail.

Brioni working with clay at Northey Street City Farm, September 2012
After seeing some of Bob's work, Brioni wants to have a go at clay sculpture.

Earth colours at Northey Street City Farm, September 2012
A palette of different colours is made from different soils.

Brioni's clay sculpture, September 2012
Brioni fashions a rosebud and paints it with the earthy colours.

Northey Street City Farm, September 2012
This durable, weatherproof sign is made from burning letters into a flat piece of polystyrene — innovative recycling done well!

Our girls at Northey Street City Farm, September 2012
Cali and Dell experiment with the percussion pipes.

Aisha at Northey Street City Farm, September 2012
A large, thin tyre hangs from the tree and attracts the children.

Delaney at Northey Street City Farm, September 2012
Delaney emerges from the sandbox for a swing. This has been a good day out for her.

Northey Street City Farm runs organic markets on Sundays and offers tours on Tuesday mornings (we arrived too late today). Although we spent several hours here, there’s still so much we didn’t see, and we’d like to come back — each of us for a different reason, but it all adds up to something local we’d like to do again!