Today Penultimo can boast of its first scoop on the Herald - the City Farm proposal. We blogged about the prospect of a City Farm in Ultimo, when we discussed the extensions to the Ultimo Pedestrian Network on November 9, 2010.
Today, Kelsey Munro reports in the Sydney Morning Herald that a site has been chosen by City of Sydney Council for a City Farm — that’s right, the site we discussed last month: in the disused railway area / carpark, adjacent to the Powerhouse Museum Tramstore building (see the image above). It’s about half a hectare.
According to Munro the farm will have:
“… productive and demonstration gardens, chickens, ducks and rabbits, communal composting and worm farms. In the council’s plan, rainwater for irrigation would be sourced from the roof of the adjacent warehouse and the museum. The site would host regular farmers’ markets and educate school groups and visitors about sustainable food production.”
It’s hard to hide our enthusiasm. We used to work at Vaucluse House (see photo above), which helped satisfy our needs in the way of heirloom vegetable gardening, organic duck egg stealing and goat wrangling, and now there is the prospect of this - on a much bigger scale - literally in our own back yard.
Perhaps this makes us YIMBYs. Bring it on.
According to Munro, establishing the farm could cost $1.67 mill, and the Powerhouse is sharing some of the costs with the Council. Munro says:
“…the aim is for the farm to become self-sustaining, generating revenue through farmers’ markets, entry fees, education programs and a cafe on site.”
We were a bit troubled by this, because charging entry fees to anything is never a good thing for patronage. That said, perhaps it’s better if the whole of Sydney isn’t stomping through the farm, since it might then become more of an Easter Show style theme park. The very fact that they’re talking about it as a demonstration farm is a bit of a worry: we want this to be a completely feasible, productive farm, with scope for expansion — we want it to sell directly to residents, and maybe even to provide plot rental. We also want pedestrian / cycling access to this area of Ultimo improved substantially — right now it’s an area that’s easy to walk over but hard to visually map, as a pedestrian or a cyclist.
Photo: Quentin Jones/Penny Stephens, ruthlessly stolen from the smh online
Munro reports that the City Farm feasibility study will probably be approved at Council next week, but construction probably won’t commence until 2012.
2012 and 2013 will be very big years for Ultimo, very big indeed.
Related Penultimo Posts