14. Torquay – Retrofitted new home, exemplar of sustainable living

Jonathan WrightSHD2019-2

14. Torquay

Type: Retrofitted new home, exemplar of sustainable living
Open: 1pm to 5pm


  • Enphase Solar System 5.6 kw / Tesla Battery
  • Heat pump hot water system
  • Double glazed windows
  • Productive garden both front and back including fruit trees and vegetable gardens
  • Composting & Worm farm
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I began growing my own vegetables at age five in my own personal vege patch in my family’s backyard. Completing a Permaculture Design course at Northey Street Gardens in Brisbane, was life changing. Today, my family is quite proud of our ability to have a minimal impact on the environment through the sustainable measures we have, and continue to take, to be reduce our footprint. 

Our house is three years young. We have installed a solar system, tesla battery and heat pump hws which mean we mostly use the sun’s rays to power our home. We grow flowers, fruit and vegetables in the back and in the front yard! We have chickens, a worm farm, and a compost system. We are always looking at what others are doing to be sustainable, as well as ways we can make a more positive change. If only I could fit a beehive in somewhere!

We sourced volcanic rocks from a redevelopment and Drew built the steps with cedar. A lot of soil and mushroom compost were added. The existing soil was clay. Bare rooted fruit trees were planted out front! We have a Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Almond tree, two Plum trees, two and two Pear trees. In wine barrels we have a lemon tree and an olive tree. Why so many fruit trees out the front? It is sunny and the largest plot of garden we have. After underplanting with salvias, seaside daisies, a mix of natives and bee attracting plants, we topped the soil with Pea straw sourced from a local farmer.

The Alfresco area is like having another room. With pull down clear blinds it is protected from rain and wind. Across the back fence we build deeper garden beds to plant fruit trees. We have two apricot trees, an two variety apple tree and a Monty apple. We also built a vegetable garden.

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