You don’t have to travel far to find food inspiration; it’s right on our doorstep. Our Year 10 Geographers discovered this on an excursion to the Wellington Point Farm and the FlyFarm.

Paul Wruck at Wellington Point Farm has inspired a new phrase, “residential bushfire”, to explain the rapid and transformative move from rural land uses to residential in the Redlands, which has left the Farm as one of the last vestiges of a working food farm in Wellington Point. The many decisions which farmers must make to ensure profitability and environmental sustainability were discussed and Adrian Lynch, the Farm Manager, showed us the practicalities of how their farm works. Drones have been used to help keep the sulphur crested cockatoos and corellas away from the farm beds. We walked through row upon row of strawberry plants impacted by the unusually long wet season we have experienced, saw the devastation that a single full moon lit night of ducks had on five rows of kale and vegetables, learnt about the education and employment opportunities the farm provided, and then got a scrumptious taste of their café delights with banana bread, fruit tartlets and some of the best juices we have tasted - all in the relative warmth of a sun trying to peak through the clouds while we lounged at the outdoor picnic tables.

Following a lunch break at Wellington Point Recreation Reserve, we went to a type of farm none of us ever thought we would visit! FlyFarm, based at the Redlands Research Facility, farms flies, specifically black soldier flies, native to Australia. With the aim to create a carbon negative business, this research and development initiative moving into start-up phase, upcycles organic waste into sustainable insect protein. This is probably the first time we all got a chance to, willingly, handle maggots and fly pupae and see how they transform food waste into food for animals. Very wriggly, very weird, and very wonderful! And the scent is something to behold (imagine food waste and fly waste combined). It is an amazing journey by the Co-CEO, Constant Tedder, who created the online game RuneScape and now heads this Singapore headquartered company with a Tech Team based in Hong Kong, including mechatronics engineers and IoT software developers to focus on research and development for the FlyFarm Production System, and our own FlyFarm Brisbane, with biologists and environmental scientists creating this cutting-edge farm.

Year 10 Geography learnt so much about food farming. It was a magnificent day out and gave us a greater appreciation of the opportunities that exist for technology in farming!

Roslyn Minnikin

Spark something wonderful