Queensland Members Tour the Southern Downs

Queensland members ventured south of Toowoomba for their April Cultivate Tour organized by member Brian Sams in conjunction with Wendy Allen from Activate Events. The weather was perfect and members enjoyed the educational and social opportunity the tour provided.

Sites visited included:

Echo Valley Farm at Goomburra

Owners Randal and Juanita Breen practice regenerative farming and have been strongly influenced by the work of Alan Savory. A legume, cereal, grass, brassica and chenopod seed mix is combined with pelletized worm castings to regenerate pastures in the ‘brittle environment’. The couple use rotational grazing, with beef cattle followed by organic free-range hens and then pigs. Produce from Echo Valley Farm is sold online and at West End in Brisbane. Members enjoyed morning tea on site.

Rivoli Farm Historic Homestead and Gardens at Deuchar

Located just outside Allora on the Southern Downs, the homestead was designed by acclaimed architect Robin Dods. It was originally built at the corner of Sandgate and London Road in Clayfield, Brisbane in 1897 as a residence and surgery for a Dr Nall.  The house was later used as a ward by the adjacent Turrawan hospital before being moved to Deuchar in 1980. The unoccupied home was purchased and lovingly restored by the current owners, the Kenny family.

A large, formal kitchen garden at the rear of the home was created by landscape designer and plantsman Clint Kenny for his parents in 2016 and featured in series one of Dream Gardens with Michael McCoy. Percheron horses are bred on the property and the house and grounds are used for weddings and other functions.

Gardens Galore at Warwick

This large, popular nursery owned by Sue and Bruce Hoffman was a welcome combined lunch stop and nursery visit. The Hoffmans also hosted the group at their nearby River Run Garden in Killarney. The garden is steep with multiple terraced gardens, sweeping lawns, a lake-like water feature and jetty, plus a magnificent backdrop of river gums planted by the couple.

Daggs Falls

The final scenic stop was to the nearby Daggs Fall, a 38m plunging waterfall on the Teviott Brook.

 About Cultivate Tours

Cultivate Tours are run by Wattletree Horticulture owner and HMAA Qld member Brian Sams, and Activate Events managing director, Wendy Allen. The pair began a business partnership in 2015 and run tours that focus on connecting guests with local food, producers, farms and country gardens in and around Toowoomba, the Darling Downs and further afield.

Annette McFarlane

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