informing, connecting, activating, actioning


Food for Thought Townsville (FFT) welcomes anyone who loves food. 

We encourage the growing, buying and enjoyment of local, seasonal and ethical food.

We promote the availability and consumption of locally-produced (organic where possible) food in the Townsville / North Queensland region.

We aim to do this by providing a physical and online community forum – a space and place to voice our thoughts and ideas towards action; developing networks of local growers, restaurants and markets and facilitating education via speakers, workshops, awareness raising and being an information hub.

We are interested in: Food concerns, food security, food access, food knowledge, food waste, healthy food, naturopathy, herbs, Permaculture practices and principles, organic gardening, education and communication, verge gardening, seasonable restaurant menus, growing/buying organic produce, small growers, growing food, backyard gardens, community gardens, tropical fruit and vegetables....and of course eating gorgeous, healthy, seasonal, organic (where possible) food!

All welcome. Tell your friends, family, school, colleagues! 

Eat Well, Live Well, Be Well….together in Townsville!

Not on Facebook? To be kept informed of upcoming FFT events email: to join the FFT email list.

The following food related resources are courtesy of Food for Thought Townsville.

Where can I buy/source locally grown and/or organic produce in Townsville?


Sprout Grocers - Organic grocer specialising in certified organic, gluten free, preservative free and local/regional food. Large range of products. Located at the Hyde Park Centre, 36 Kings Road, Hyde Park (opposite CastleTown and behind Muscle and Fitness Gym). Ph 4771 3111. Web:

Family Life Organics - Certified organic products, gluten free, vegan and natural foods. Organic Meat, fruit and vegetables, health and speciality products. Online shopping and delivery to Townsville and North Queensland availableShop 5 / 238-266 Woolcock Street, Currajong.. Ph (07) 4755 0033. Facebook:

The Organic Pantry – At The Organic Pantry is not just passionate about food, we are passionate about real food that is affordable for all.  A wonderful selection of produce and gourmet foods available. A one stop organic shop delivered to your door each and every week. Find The Organic Pantry on Facebook ( 

The Source Bulk Foods - North Ward Shopping Village, Eyre Street, North Ward. The largest specialised bulk food retailer in Australia. Proudly reducing packaging waste. Ph 4724 0788. Facebook: 


Otto’s Fresh Food Market Foods – Providing premium quality fresh food, direct from local farmers and producers when possible, at the best possible price and with outstanding service to their customers. Services include: Green Grocer, Butcher, In-house Bakery, In-house Pizza, Deli, Coffee, Juice & Gourmet & other products. Warrina Shopping Village, 3-5 Illuka Street, Currajong, Townsville. Ph 4759 1755; Web:

Tobin Fish Tales - 'every fish has a story' - Sustainable, fresh, predominantly locally-sourced seafood. Owner/managers Andy and Renae Tobin are fish cooks, fish mongers, fish catchers and fisheries scientists (yes really).

Ripe near me – – A Website for listing and selling Home Grown (organic) produce - A national website to assist you to find and buy local homegrown food and/or post and sell your home grown excess. This is a new website created in late 2013 and if populated with local North Queensland information, could be a very useful site.

North Queensland Farmers Market – Come and support our local farmers. Shop locally while meeting and buying direct from local producers. Great food available. Kid’s entertainment and activities provided. For more info see or North Queensland Farmers Markets on Facebook (at

Local community markets - Some locally grown produce is available from local community markets including Willows Markets (Sunday mornings), Cotters Markets (Sunday Mornings), Castle Hill PCYC Sunday Markets, Friday Night Strand Night Markets, Balgal Beach Markets, Bushland Beach Markets, Saunders Beach Markets.   For details visit - Townsville City Council Community Events Calendar ( and search for markets.

Vietnam Veterans Stall at Willows Sunday morning markets sells excess locally grown produce.

Sprout Greener Grocers – sells some local (organic) farm produce.

Lamberts Produce (Aitkenvale) stocks local lines and displays where produce is grown.

Some banana farmers in Innisfail are supplying Bilo and Coles with the stock only travelling between Innisfail and Townsville (ie not via Brisbane/other).

Majors Creek Farm – (Mike Vance) – a local grower sells direct from the Sunday morning Cotters Markets.

The PCYC Castle Hill Sunday Markets (Hugh St, Belgian Gardens) are looking for backyard growers to sell excess produce. Interested? Contact the PCYC on ph 4772 3883.


  • Mungalli Organic Eggs - available at selected retailers
  • Majors Creek Eggs - available from Cotters and Strand Night Markets, Ottos.
  • Pace eggs – locally grown organic, free range eggs – available from IGA and Bilo.
  • Yamagishi “Happy Eggs” – these egg laying chickens are raised in a comfortable environment with fresh air and bright sunlight – available from a variety of local retailers.
  • Organic / biodynamic eggs available from the organic food shops above.


FFT are pleased to see that Woolworths are currently identifying locally grown fresh produce with "North Queensland Grown" signage. This however does not also mean that these product lines are also low in food miles as staff have confirmed that the NQ grown produce does still travel to Brisbane and back before being delivered to Townsville supermarkets.

Where to eat out?

Food for Thought prefer these venues:

  • The Organic Pantry, Ross River Road, Aikenvale
  • Relish, Townsville Central
  • Bitchin Kitchen, Charters Towers Road, Hermit Park
  • Paleo Cafe, Flinders Street, Townsville CBD
  • Coffee Dominion, Stokes Street, Townsville CBD - Fairtrade, ethically sourced coffee
  • Tobin Fish Tales, Landsborough Street, North Ward -
  • A Touch of Salt, Stokes Street, Townsville CBD
  • Jam Corner, Palmer Street, South Townsville
  • Squeeze Me juice bar in North Ward - focuses on using local produce where possible
  • The Balcony Restaurant, Townsville Mall - Townsville's only accredited Green Table Restaurant
  • Alligator Creek B&B ( – Serves a gourmet breakfast featuring local produced loose tea and fresh-ground coffee from the Atherton Tablelands near Cairns, free range bacon and eggs, unhomogenised milk from a small, family dairy in the Tablelands, fruit and vegies either from their own property or from a local greengrocer who sources locally-farmed produce as much as possible.
  • The Coffee Tree - mobile coffee van

Tackling Food Waste


Food Rescue Initiative in Townsville rescues and (pre-)serves food that would otherwise go to waste, prevents perfectly edible fruit and veggies ending up in landfill, turns rejected edibles into delicious rescue dishes and helps redistribute surplus food to those in need in our community. A volunteer run not-for-profit organisation and home of the FruitCycling Bike Blender, to find out more and how to get involved (they would love your help) visit Food Rescue Initiative on Facebook (

VRM Biologik - BioReg Process, Liquid Bokashi & Bio-cleaners (and more!)

Smart, sustainability-championing, Townsville based business VRM BioLogik is an innovation success story servicing a local, national and international market. 

Location: 22 Reward Crescent, Bohle. Ph (07) 4774 6337 

Website: Also Facebook: And

VRM Biologik's Bioregen program provides a simple, safe, affordable way to manage unused food, through a revolutionary bio-process. Commercial quantities of waste food materials are collected, mashed up with water added and used to incubate and grow good bacteria. The biofertiliser resulting is then sold to food producers as a soil improver assisting the grower have healthier soils and grow better food.

James Cook University's Townsville campus uses the Bio-Regen system, as described here.

VRM Biologik also locally manufactures and supplies liquid bokashi. 

VRM Bio-cleaners are naturally fermented combinations of citrus oils with lactobacillus. 100% safe, non-toxic cleaning products. Ideal for heavy duty industrial and residential applications


Permaculture Townsville ( has a wealth of knowledge on composting techniques suited to Townsville and North Queensland climate.


Woody’s Tree and Worm Farm at Alice River are a local supplier of worms and worm farms. Website: Facebook:

Where can I learn more about tropical foods?

Australian Tropical Foods ( - the food and wine industry portal for Tropical North Queensland (Cairns and Tropical North Queensland Region). A comprehensive site where you can discover exotic fruits, tropical seafood, gourmet foods, local wines and beverages, markets, regional food produce directory, restaurants serving local foods, industry links, seasonal calendar, regional recipes and Taste of the Tropics’ Food Trails.

Where can I learn more about growing my own food?

Townsville’s Community Gardens

Visit or help out at one of Townsville's community gardens:

  • JCU Sunshine Rotary Edible Garden – A collaborative initiative of JCU’s Trop Eco Program and Permaculture Townsville. Wicking beds, worm farm and hot composting demonstration site. A great place for JCU students, Rotary House visitors and the Townsville community to lend a hand whilst learning more about how to grow your own food. For info visit: JCU’s Trop Eco website (
  • Belgian Gardens (Castle Hill PCYC) Community Garden
  • Upper Ross Community Garden - Meets regularly for get-to-gethers and working bees. Upper Ross Community Centre, 1143 Riverway Drive, Rasmussen, ph 4774 0144.
  • Rowes Bay Sustainability Education Centre, Permaculture Demonstration Garden – Townsville City Council Depot, Cape Pallarenda Road, Rowes Bay. Contact the Townsville City Council for access times and associated information, ph 4727 9000.
  • Townsville Diversity Community Garden – Yates Street, Railway Estate. Providing a showcase of traditional gardening practices from people’s country of origin and a place of harmony for all diverse peoples. The garden has become inclusive to people with disabilities, seniors and other groups who are marginalised within our society. Drop by and have a look or for information on how to get involved contact Townsville City Council, ph 4727 9000.
  • Ross Island Food Forest – Established in 1994 and presently self sustaining. Located on one acre of council land, corner block of 1st Avenue and Fifth Street, Railway Estate. To find out more about the history and food plants you can find at the site visit - and then pop by and check it out yourself.

Permaculture Townsville
Regular workshops and gatherings and excellent website resources. Come along to a Permaculture Townsville meeting or workshop to get your hands dirty, meet likeminded green thumbs and garner local tips and knowledge from some very knowledgeable and passionate people.

Learn about the ethics of Permaculture, brush up on Permaculture practices suitable for North Queensland, find out about local upcoming and past permaculture related events & workshops, see photos of local Permaculture gardens, get active on the Permaculture Townsville blog, find links to aligned organisations, come along to the monthly Permaculture Group meetings. or join their group on Facebook (

What basic info might I want to know before starting to grow my own food in Townsville?

Do you know....

  • Townsville is in the dry tropics and has irregular rainfall ie only an average 65 days of rain per year, compared to average 200 days of rain in most Australian cities! 


  • Where possible plant heirloom varieties
  • For the best in organic, sustainably produced seeds see Eden Seeds and Greenpatch Organic Seeds
  • Consider building a wicking bed for superior results. Search for videos and other online information on Permaculture Design Project Consultant - Brett Pritchard's Biowicked Beds.

Documentaries / Movie Nights

Attend a documentary screening promoting awareness of issues surrounding our food supply. The following groups are worth keeping an eye on for upcoming food related movie nights - Permaculture Townsville, JCU’s Trop Eco or Food for Thought Townsville.

The following documentaries have been suggested by Food for Thought members as being worth seeking out and viewing:

  • HOME
  • 2012: Time for Change
  • PlanEAT
  • Dirt! The Movie
  • Foodmatters
  • Queen of the Sun
  • Food Inc
  • The end of the line
  • The Future of Food
  • The world according to Monsanto

North Queensland Food Knowledge & Reports

NQ Farmers Market Feasibility Study

A comprehensive feasibilty study was completed by Colin Balfour of Balfour Consulting for a Proposed Farmers Market in North Queensland was completed in March 2010. Supporters included Burdekin City Council (Tony Vaccaro), Townsville City Council, The Greens, The Hon Craig Wallace – Member for Mundingburra (State Government), Food for Thought Townsville and 6000 members of the Townsville community! The 105 page report can be downloaded from (or you may just wish to read the 5 page executive summary!)

Regional Food Producers Workshops

During 2011, several workshops were coordinated by Sue Fairley, Food and Agrotourism Project Officer Advance Cairns. To find out more contact Sue on 0417 735 838.

Organic Farming Concept on Southern Tablelands

In 2012, a feasibility study was completed. To find out more follow this link

Local Food Supply Survey

In 2011, Southern Cross University with the support of Advance Cairns undertook a survey on people’s opinions of local foods with the goal of developing a Regional Food System that will support the production, distribution and sale of local food for local consumption.  The outcomes of the survey will help support our local farmers, provide healthy, fresh, seasonal, regional food to local communities and create authentic local tourism experiences that will have visitors raving about the amazing food offering experienced in Tropical North Queensland. To find out more contact Advance Cairns -

Where can I learn more about National & Global Food Issues - An Australian site which often has on-line petitions that you can sign for food related issues being presented to parliament etc - The Australian Marine Conservation Society's excellent Sustainable Seafood Guide. 

Food Connect - For an overview visit or be inspired by Russ Grayson and his website