HAND PICKED: Dallas Rumbelow tends to the community garden at Brisbane Valley Protein Precinct.
HAND PICKED: Dallas Rumbelow tends to the community garden at Brisbane Valley Protein Precinct. Rob Williams

Community garden the force behind region's foodie 'mecca'

THERE are plans to export locally grown food to the world but the force behind Brisbane Valley Protein Precinct is starting at the grass roots level.

A community garden was among the first stages of the four stage master plan for a 1010-hectare plot of farmland at Coominya and a way for co-director Duncan Brown to show the community he was serious about their involvement with the large-scale project.

At the moment the community garden is rows of flourishing seedlings, beds of freshly-planted veges and herbs and a place for families to put their green thumbs into action.

It will become an integral part of the Brisbane Valley Protein Precinct masterplan and a key method to get the community involved right from the beginning.

Gardener Dallas Rumbelow was one of the lucky few hand-picked to help Mr Brown launch the project to the community. "I became involved about 12 months ago and we started the community garden and had the first planting," Ms Rumbelow said.

"We will be opening up every few weeks to the community to come and have a potter, enjoy the garden, maybe plant some things if they want to and take some produce."

She said plans were in place to expand the garden project as the full Brisbane Valley Protein Precinct vision came to life.

"I am most looking froward to be being part of the excitement and growth and really just watching Duncan's dream come to life," she said.

"It's pretty amazing to see how it is all coming together."

Mr Brown said the garden was a key link between the development and their neighbours. "We wanted to show to the community that we are serious. It's one thing to have a plan but this was a small tangible step towards the ultimate vision which is a Community ," he said.

"One day people will be able to come here and taste the local produce, meet the local producers and eat the the local good. You can wonder through a market garden. It was a bit of statement that were were serious about this."


Food plan bringing youth to the industry table

THE region's producers are busy moving 'from the mining boom to the dining room' and businessman Duncan Brown already has plans in place to bring the next generation to the table.

A long-term focus of the Brisbane Valley Protein Precinct at Coominya will include a tertiary eduction facility focused on food, working directly alongside a quail farm and exporting facility.

Co-director Duncan Brown said the aim was to include young people in the long-term vision.

"I think often young people don't think there is a future for them out here and there are so many great food places that can tap into that potential in local schools," Mr Brown said.

"If we can be a bit of a bridge between schools and young people we can see a future in food.

"Ultimately our very long term plan for the future is to a tertiary education facility that is food focused.

"It will be something that helps a young person go through the journey on incubating an egg, growing a bird, ethically processing, exporting and preparing, the whole process." The tertiary education facility is part of stage four of the plan, expected to be completed by 2030.