Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Another big day in the garden - two weeks in a row.

Last week I planted the corn seedlings and seeds of zucchini, rockmelon, and moon and stars watermelon (as per the default profile pictures). The watermelon has germinated already and the corn is growing well. I didn't plant beans because I realised I didn't have climbing bean seeds - must get onto that. I ended up taking most of the broad beans out and cutting some back. I've also left tomatoes in the same bed for the moment because they're fruiting well, but they will have to go shortly.

I sprinkled the entire garden with dolomite (it looked like an explosion in a bakery) and watered it in as much as possible with a watering can. I also scattered rooster booster pellets everywhere, including our fruit trees. We have baby lychees - I wonder if I can let them mature yet? Our lychee is two years old, and must have been about 2 years old in the bag. I guess probably not, but I'd love to.

I also scattered some basil seeds around, some corn seeds I had, and some okra seeds (although it's not very yummy, at least it will provide some shade and is very hardy). My jerusalem artichoke and yacon has sprouted.

I've been cleaning a lot of old plants out of the main garden and interplanting with bush beans, zucchini, cucumber and all seasons carrot. One of my garlics has started to flower - I'm going to pull it up and see what's under there. Have probably left it too long. Have never actually harvested garlic before. My lovely smelly big red rose is flowering. Food for the soul (apparently the chemicals in roses make people happier in studies - one really should stop to smell the roses!). I might plant some garlic under it - apparently they make good companions, although I've not had success with this in the past. Will try again.

We ate a lovely artichoke lunch today - broiled and with an olive oil, balsamic and garlic dipping sauce - yum! I wonder how you pickle artichoke hearts. I saw a dip recently that was basically pulverised artichoke hearts and oil.

Today for the first time I watered the garden with a hose during the allowed half hour. It was sheer luxury, I loved every second. We also harvested another bunch of green bananas and two giant papaya - the long mountain pawpaw variety, so that will be an exciting change. We have one food connect and 6 home pawpaws in our fruit bowl! Great with lime juice and honey.

I fussed around with making an edge for the garden out of pavers ( a gift from next door - thankyou!) and planted a native raspberry out the front. We had 8 galahs eating the mature seeds on our Brisbane Wattle (Acacia fimbriata). I gave next door some wombok.

I've taken some photos of the front of the chook house - I'll put them up.

I also cleaned out our two worm farms. I dumped the worm juice into the banana pawpaw circle (should help to compost all our garden trimmings which we dump in the middle). Then I dumped the finished trays into the garden, especially where I am hoping some pumpkins will volunteer. I made sure each of the farms had half a tray of finished castings on the bottom as a worm reservoir for the trays in progress. We are spoilt for places to put green waste - the banana circle, the chook pen, the worm farms, the compost bin.

Our celery is starting to look tired, and has a lot of thrip - one even wilted today. I'll pull some out I think, make some room. Maybe replace with some squash and definitely snake beans. Some of the silverbeet never came good, the leaves have stayed little - that can go. Am eating strawberries now - very late! Have lots of seeds ripening in stooks. I need to buy some brown paper bags to collect them. There are a lot of white cabbage moth around. Two interesting new birds came and hunted the caterpillars this morning. Also, although I haven't spotted him yet, I am very happy because we now have a resident blue tongue living between the sleepers in one of the vegie gardens!!

We have so much food that I haven't even done the big harvest this weekend - and there are beetroot waiting for me! We had a big frittata and artichokes for lunch and still have vegie chicken barley soup from yesterday. It really seems crazy that people don't all do this. We've bought not one vegetable (except potatoes, onions and garlic) since the first week of May (the variety was low at the start I admit). I put the garden in on the first day of April. Actually, I should stop buying onions - we have a LOT of leeks ready to go and it looks like they may shoot with the warm weather.

I LOVE no dig gardens - they are so easy and productive.

I have some volunteer sunflowers in the front yard (self seeded from last year) which are now almost finished. Must be time to plant the next lot - I shall buy some more bird seed from coles. Although I am tempted by the beautiful "painted lady" etc ones that peter has posted - maybe I should splurge on some proper seeds as well (won't be able to save them though). Apparently cucumbers and sunflowers are companions, but I think only for little ones, not giant russian sunflowers etc.. A big sunflower stunted one of my baby bananas cos it was in the same hole - it's only just coming good.

Congratulations if you've got this far! I hope it's interesting. It's nice just writing it, it helps me to reflect and plan.

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