Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

This morning the light was stunning outback in the 8c temp and the verdancy was all dew shiny and jungle like. So I took a few photos to remember this August day.
Given how dry the weather has been the keen growth is a major surprize.
Enlarge the image for a closer view.
There are so many different plants in each photo I can't list them easily.
Aside from the mulching and terracotta pots, the garden is fed with (psst) home made urine, kitchen washes, and (Wandering Jew) weed tea. Plenty of , multicropping and close planting while trying to deal with shade arc and predict over shadowing as plants grow next door to one another.
The mounds are still there but they've settled and the valleys between them are engorged with mulch and plants so the contour is not so evident.
All mounds are untouched since their creation as they are treated as holy mountains each with their own ecology. And for sure the mounds vary in their lifestyle.

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Comment by Dianne Caswell on August 17, 2017 at 7:42

Oh, I wish I could let someone's chooks go in my yard, as the chickweed and others are rampant. Must get out in the garden one day, Pa.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on August 17, 2017 at 6:12

Ah Chick Weed! It's great stuff under control. Pulling it up removes that fabulous fibrous root system. Even tho it does make more work: chop it off at ground level or as we now know, the plants will choke almost any other plant.

Comment by Dave Riley on August 17, 2017 at 1:59

I tend not to see individual plants -- only the whole. Just so I remember where the next harvest may be at.

Today I foraged a metre long cucuzza squash, some curly endive, spring onions, parsley, sweet peppers, chilies, tomatoes and  Okinawan spinach for tea.

Despite the very hot day (28-30C) and the absence of rain: all were succulent.

I also picked some Cousa squash --and I'm wondering when to harvest the Tatuma variety --which I'm growing as a pumpkin.I stupidly failed to keep seeds of my tromboncino  when none were commercially available. That's now been rectified.

But your everyday zucchini (eg: Black Jack) and the seeming ubiquitous pumpkin don't thrive outback.This year the beans have been disappointing. 

Just on the endive -- I grow a range of chicories and radichio --and the Italian family of salad greens are such great culinary value. All cut-and-come again with a keen sense of survival. Throw in some bulb fennel and you get to eat a la carte mix and match every day.

At the moment I'm growing almost everything from seed -- or cuttings --and making my own seed raising mixture (touch wood) in an effort to reduce costs both at home and at the school garden.

What strikes me is that I'm not so  over supplied that I cannot keep up with the harvest. That's the joy, I reckon, of having so many choices. So many -- that I'm running out of space.

Finally -- finally! -- I've filled the patch with's a living entity with a collective mind of its own and a very shared sense of survival.

The only irritating problem I have is with chick weed as it tends to crowd out my parsley and spring onions in the shade. It's so hard to pull without also uprooting these neighbours. I find that my best response is to drown it in grass clippings. Other than that, no bugs to tell tales about -- none! -- only a failure to take off on the part of some species.

Because there is a lot of shade in play, tomatoes take some time to redden up and ripen. At the school garden we have had several tomato harvests -- but at home the toms are lazy.

That may be the downside of polycultural/mixed veg planting: shade on shade. But I reckon so much gardening literature presumes a temperate climate and ours in SEQ is much more flexible with fewer rules.

After all, what really matters is what happens underground. I'm amazed how much I can get away with in regard to my sunshine ration.

Why is this? I'm assuming that because my 'beds' are a succession of mounds I've increased my surface area and sun exposure. And the regular water resource -- the clay pots --allows me to crowd my plants. And the more different plants there are inhabiting the soil, the more fertile the earth seems to become.

'Fallow' isn't in my dictionary. It's the rule of the jungle.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on August 16, 2017 at 19:09

Ah... the yard's a paradise mate.  You wouldn't live anywhere else but BLF land, would ya?

Comment by Dave Riley on August 10, 2017 at 11:21

After a session at the school garden this morning -- maintenance -- I'm thinking that I may shift that project into similar mode to my own. The main problem is that while we have water, the children don't water well or often enough so i thought I'd explore the fertility hole option -- which is the last hesitation to clay pot irrigation.

Comment by Dianne Caswell on August 10, 2017 at 10:34

Looking Great Dave. I was so pleased to see your garden again on Sunday. Thanks for sharing the pics.

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