Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

A lot of us made our way over to Roger's place today to see his garden.  We started of course with good food and the swap table.

Roger's yard is very large so obviously one of the obstacles he has to overcome is how to get water everywhere.  His answer -> he doesn't, he rely's on mother nature for the fruit trees.  It would be heartbreaking to see the flowers develop every year just to waste away to nothing and when he showed us his soil as well, it was clear that even if he could get water to them, it would take a lot to keep them moist.

That said, there were some things that were thriving.  Seed grown mango surrounded by some struggling pumpkins.

The grumichama had little fruit on it and I was pleased to hear that they were really nice and cherry like.   

Jaboticaba had abundant fruit on its bark

White Sapote looked prolific.

While Roger also grows lychees, he grows Longan's as well and reckons that they seem to be a bit hardier for his climate.  The flowers are developing quite nicely on this one. 

He also has lots of other fruit trees in that awful soil but it broke my heart looking at them - He is a much more stoic gardener than I - I couldn't deal with the disappointment of waiting for rain every year to set the crops and then watch them wither and die as no rainfall to support developing fruit. 

We then moved on to his wicking bins for the Avocado's.  Look!! He has fruit!! I nearly got my fingers smacked - Roger was afraid that I was going to knock them off.  Figs are also grown in the same area to help shade the Avo's bins. 

The first vegie patch was next.  All in raised beds of some type ranging from old bath tubs to fiberglass pods.  Carrots and strawberries and KALE!!

What's with the cages, you ask?  Well to add insult to injury, Roger also has to deal with possums, rats and RABBITS!!!

Corn is looking real good!

We made our way over to the other patch.  A few of us by this stage had wandered back to the house to escape the heat.  Yep 35 degrees by this stage.  Didn't the poor pumpkins show it - I counted 6 on this vine. 

His famous PVC tubes for growing carrots - needing to come out as they bake in this heat according to Roger. 

Some potato's and passionfruit seedlings in another of his wicking bins. 

We then went to his next fruit area where he has grapes (muscadines), more figs, carambola, aniseed (?) myrtle, pomegranite, carob and arrowroot planted.  Apparently this area has better soil and as it is closer to the house, probably gets watered a bit more.  By this stage, we were melting and headed back to the house through a cute little pathway under the shade of a big Jacaranda that offered us some relief from the heat.  

Thanks so much for your hospitality today.  To see what other gardeners have to deal with and the perseverance that you go through Roger is inspiring and makes me appreciate my very tiny but easily watered and good soil block of land that much more. 

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Replies to This Discussion

I had the joy of waking up with the flu this morning.  I hate a summer flu.  I was also pretty bummed because Roger's was a garden I definitely wanted to see.  I might have to message you and duck down some day when you're not busy Roger. 

Excellent productive and water efficient yard Roger, wish is was there.

How much water does the fruiting Jaboticaba get?

Nice report and photos Susan, thank you.

Strange how it's a short drive for us " Mexicans " to a G.V. on the north side, but such a long way for the " Northerners ' to go to a G.V. on the South side. Still we who attended enjoyed each other's company I take my hat off to you Roger, with such a lack of water, you're endeavors  still produced a wonderful garden. Christine and I thank you and Brenda for your hospitality.

I don't care which side of town GVs are on.  I went to Susan's garden visit twice on the same weekend mate - and that's south side!   

Well done Roger. You garden under some very difficult circumstances and yesterday was very hot to boot. I hope to come visit next time you invite BLF and I'm not busy emptying out cupboards and packing boxes to move. The only reason this "northerner" didn't come. Distance has nothing to do with it.

Nice report Susan :)

Distance no object. Un-familiarity with the roads has everything to do with it.

Missed an absolutely cracker of a garden there Roger and thanks for the great photos and report Susan  really interesting reading and good ideas coming through - yes it was hot yesterday and yes I still have some summer flu but think we picked the wrong garden visit to do - we had 8 different things we were to do yesterday so in the end nearly flipped a coin as to whether we went to Rogers ( though we never did get an address so that made  the decision easier - still have inbox etc issues ) or a subtropical fruit growers visit out near Gatton - well I am now very sorry to say we went to Gatton way - was interesting seeing how others grow their trees and did get to bring home some cuttings of a yellow gramachama and seeds of a yellow jabotacaba so hopefully they will grow - if you are going to do private tours as Andrew suggested we would love one too Roger ! 

It seemed to take forever to get to Roger and Brenda's (had not idea where we were going) but not so far back (had worked out my co-ordinates better) - must admit while we are going that way we took the advantage of calling in at the Mt Gravatt Markets.  

In the blistering heat we got to experience how hard it is to grow on this property - poor soil, lack of water and heat blaring down on everything.  I take my hat off to you both for what you have achieved under these trying conditions.  Your hospitality was appreciated and look forward to seeing you both again soon.

Have you ever noticed that it is 5 hours to a new place but only 30 minutes home?  Weird that. 

It was like a road trip into unknown territory.  Great drive and even with the GPS we took wrong turns just to see what was around the corner.  Hadn't planned on going to the markets, but heck, while in the neighbourhood (NOT) we decided that was a good idea.  I love taking detours no matter where I am going and especially if it is somewhere I haven't  been before.  Look forward to the next GV into the unknown.

Thanks so much for the Fabulous Report, I know I can always depend on you to come through. A big thank you to our wonderful hosts Roger and Brenda. Brenda kept the much appreciated, iced water flowing, we were so grateful. It was lovely to welcome 2 of our new members Lee and Rob.

I always wanted to live on acreage and grow fruit trees, but am now thankful for my little patch and will make full use of it. The lack of rain and uncertain weather patterns make growing plants in Roger's soil difficult though he has found many ways to get over this buy planting in Bathtubs, Wheelie Bins, Tubes, and some wonderful fibre-glass planters that were X hotel planters (Roger bought them from an auction for $20 each, what a bargain).

Roger grows some lovely big Blueberry Bushes and to save the fruit from the Fig Bird nets them. I too was surprised at how many pumpkins were on the vines, here I am lovely healthy looking leaves on my vines and no fruit yet, I think I had better stop mothering them.

Something that did come out of this visit was the discussion on perhaps making the Spring/Summer Garden Visits a starting time of 9.00am finishing at 11.00am. What does anyone think?

Thanks Roger and Brenda :) I agree with all of the above, well done! Not an easy sight. So hot... And thanks for the passionfruits and green zebra tomatoes, am excited to start growing!

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