Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Let me give you the background for this post before anything else....

I was musing to myself the other day about "Andy, do you walk the garden walk, or just talk the garden talk?"  What I was getting at was:  for all my yardly adventures, how much benefit am I really reaping?  Am I spending a fortune (admittedly, I came from a very low base before I joined the site) and getting bugga all in return?  Am I kidding myself about my urban farmer skills?

So, I thought I would pose an open question as a bit of a game for us all.  How much do you really eat what you grow? ... and guessing is not good enough.  I aim to answer my own tough question with facts.  Feel free to contribute your facts and answer the question for yourselves.

There is only one way to win this game:  you need to out-compete yourself.  I mean, if my 3 year old garden out-compete's John's 6 month old garden, it just means my garden is more established.  My real question to myself is: am I doing better now than I was doing 6 months or a year ago?  I might also try to use some real costs from Coles on line shopping. 

Go on... take the risk... be honest.  I shall lead by example (wish me luck!)

Night 1's dinner:  Thai Beef Salad.  Four or five different lettuce types and basil supplied by me from the aquaponics bed.  Here is the proof (you don't need to do this - I just want to get us started).  I should have stuck my hand in the shot - those are cos lettuce leaves on top - they are around 15 - 20 cm in size. This was a big salad.  The pic has no purchased add-ins at this stage. 

 I don't expect to have grown my own beef and stuff.  I am just trying to get "real."  I think it was a pretty fine effort from 1 month old lettuces and basil on harvest 4 in the same time.  

Saving: lettuce $2 + basil $2 = $4.

Night 2 dinner: Stir Fry with garlic chicken sausages.

Produce used: Pak Choi ($3) and Silverbeet ($4! - you kidding me? This stuff grows like crazy).  I know, I used shop bought sausages.  I'm stock piling my home made ones for the family Christmas BBQ).

Total Saving this week: $11 (hey, that's more than I expected).

Night 3: True confessions.

Photography course was tonight.  Produce used: none.

Total Saving this week: $11

Night 4: True confessions part 2.

Produce used: none. Steak and potato and carrot.  My carrots are in and I'm about to add some spuds, but don't have any at the moment. 

Total Saving this week: $11 (oh, the shame)

Night 5: True confessions part 3.

Produce used: none. Roast pork with pumpkin, potato and carrot.  

Total Saving this week: $11 (oh, the continued shame)

Night 6: Redemption. 

Used an aquaponic's lettuce (actually, it was half of two).   

Total Saving this week: Lettuce: $2 + $11 = $13

Night 7: Stir Fry 

Used a load of pak choi.   

Total Saving this week: Pak Choi: $3 + $13 = $16

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Feels good doesn't it :D

And the food you ate was fresher than anything you could buy in the shops, organic or not.

As a calamari addict, you realise now that I will be moving in permanently.

I spent Christmas at my parents' place near Hobart and managed to catch two feeds of calamari off the rocks. It was sublime - one meal we had it salt and peppered, the other time in a tomato sauce on pasta.

Oh yum. Dad used to catch them fresh when I was a kid. That and crabs and lots of fish. Goodness I miss that fresh seafood sometimes.

Some very simple meals are turning out to be very delicious!

This afternoon was the first time I have come across this topic and I am had a great time reading through all of the posts.

Firstly I want to thankyou all for getting me back into the garden, it is probably without you even knowing it.  After a long hospitalization my garden was alive, just and a real mess, but I am pleased to say I am proud of my efforts, so please all take a bow for inspiring me.. My doctor and Physio etc are still not aware just what I have been up to. I am sure without BLF I would be still housebound, though cooking up a storm and making cheese. But with store bought product.

Like everything I do, I like to be organized and have all I need to make a success of a project, so the cost doesn't come into it unless I just have to forget about it because it is just to prohibited. Like wanting Chooks, we really have no where to put them, I have to be realistic. So I will now have more to spend on the garden.

We have a good herb garden so it is very rarely that I need to buy those. I will be taking cutting of Hanging Prostrate Rosemary to give away at my GV if anyone is interested. Rocket and Wild Rocket and Red Rhubarb Spinach have just about taken over. This year is the first time I have been able to successfully grow Coriander, I don't know why I couldn't, I just couldn't. We have the Italian Zucchini that only gets flowers, which I use stuffed and dipped in batter. Had some for dinner last night.

We have all manner of Greens and Beans and have them on a regularly. I usually grow from seed, not GM that I know of.

Enough of me. Thanks again for the interesting posts.



I love it when something takes over - well, when it's something useful like spinach.  The stuffed zucchini flowers sound darn good Dianne!

Noone! has much success with Coriander, except possibly in winter. I had a mess of it growing finally last winter. Maybe it will come up from dropped seed.

Your Red Rhubarb Spinach sounds interesting Dianne. Is it growing well now in the heat?

Glad you have been inspired to get out in the garden :) It's healing isn't it.

The Red Rhubarb Spinach grows very well here, it is seed that was a Freebie with an order a couple years ago from Diggers and I still have one of the original plants doing very well and new ones coming on. I will look to see if I still have any seed.

Yes the garden helps to heal that is for sure. I am an old bare foot Surfie Chick (wish I still had the body) from way back and I like nothing more than being outside. And the rewards from this small Veggie Patch are a Bonus.

*Note to self* steal some of Dianne's red rhubarb spinach when she isn't looking.  Good healthy cheese distraction may be required. 

Ah, me too :) Grew up on and island and never wore shoes until I went to high school. We were in and out of the water as it suited us.

(Andy and) I would love some seed from the spinach if you can find some.


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Vetiver grass helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion.  It can protect against pests and weeds. Vetiver is also used as animal feed. (Wiki.)

GrowVetiver is a plant nursery run by Dave & Keir Riley that harvests and grows Vetiver grass for local community applications and use. It is based in Beachmere, just north of Brisbane, Australia.

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