Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

My sweet potatoes are ready for harvest, and perpetual spinach is very reliable!

Choko vine happily climbing up the shed

Tropical garden with pawpaw circle also going well, had to add extra lines of string for Madagascar beans (not shown)

Bush Bean Provider – Eden Seeds. Flowers are pretty little things and beans are perfect! Have never had beans so fresh! 27/8/16

Meanwhile, Rob’s Broadbeans have been flowering, very pretty. No sign of beans yet

Liking this White Iceberg Climbing rose, and also my native hibiscus. The hibiscus is 100% edible (including rootball, I’m told!) and just gave me some seeds that I’ve sown next to its mother.

Thanks to Cathie, I’ve started my Sourdough adventures, couldn’t believe how easy it is! And Fuss-free. So far I’ve made two (above). And of course, needs some tasty toppings to go with! Strawberry marmalade (my favourite), Beetroot and onion jam (great with goats cheese! Feta making is next on my homesteading list), and some sauerkraut.

My latest pride and joy: first lettuce success! Worried about Summer coming though. Lettuce Tango (Diggers) 28/8/16 

What's next?

- Cheese making

- Self sufficient salad greens by Christmas (fingers crossed they'll be Summer-proof. Have tried a few different ways including wicking bins and mounds, in sun and shade). Must get back into habit of sprouts

- Make some big wicking Macropots for fruit trees (thinking tropical nectarine and citrus for now)

- Outdoor shade area

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Comment by Sophie on September 25, 2017 at 20:41

Thanks Elaine, will check it out :)

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on September 25, 2017 at 8:03
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on September 25, 2017 at 8:02

Sophie, our Joseph has a good system for growing summer greens. He would have some posts on BLF about it and so far I haven't found them by scrolling through his posts. He wrote a third-party blog  but the pix have disappeared :-( but it is worth reading. Nutshell: he uses a shadehouse and shallow trays and harvests the greens in one go, not leaf by leaf.

Comment by Sophie on September 25, 2017 at 6:35
It's great having these posts here and being able to reflect! 1 yr of sourdough! Happy to say it has improved! Though slow slog process :) Funny that I was collecting broadbeans at the same time but didn't have much luck with the french beans this year; must find a more suitable place for them - I suspect they get too hot. Having documented through a summer period too I know that it will be difficult to be self sufficient in salad greens over the next six months though I still like the idea of my 'where to next'. The tropical peach is lookng like it has some fruitlets. Any fruit tree in a pot has really suffered due to neglect whereas the ones in the ground have survived. I'm thinking I might just go al natural in the soil (ah, just remembered, really need to do that soil test w Vegesafe). I've emptied out the wicking boxes yesterday becuase they have chronically dried up (yes, that bad, cant even water a little!!!!). Have been noticing, as work becomes busy, hard to manage a large area - especially if the area is spread out. Logistically, if the whole growing food area could be contained to one hose coverage, we'd be sweet - especially noticible when people kindly water the garden when I am away. The hose radius becomes quite clear :) That said, the pot plants are looking better now having been away and looked after by someone else than before!!!
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on August 31, 2016 at 20:50

Sophie any time is a good time to plant! With fruiting trees I always remove the blooms from the plant's first season. Following instructions from Daley's (or Green Harvest) and reduce the quantity of leaves at planting time. Both ideas will help the plant grow strong and not tax it too much in its early years.

Although I grow a  Saba Nut I have never tasted it. That Peach is a standard one and un-accountably is named 'Florda' there's several in that series. Sounds nutty but there you are.

Some native Hibiscus are spikey in various ways and some are not. The big Cottonwoods (too big for home) are smooth and flower profusely.

Comment by Rob Collings on August 31, 2016 at 20:35

Awesome Sophie, the gardens, the plants, and the kitchen results.

One or two broad bean plants have only started showing beans in the last two weeks. Most of plants here, have no beans as yet, just flowers. Last year they were at peak harvest around mid October.

Comment by Sophie on August 31, 2016 at 18:55
Wow SP leaf cordial, who would have thought. Have you tried it? At what point is it not just the citrus and sugar that make it taste good? I don't have any pink tipped but do have dark purple...?

This native hibiscus doesn't seem to have thorns? It is only a baby though.

Am curious about this saba nut I keep hearing about... Has anyone tasted it yet? I am about to do my first Daleys order (look out! Making use of Fathers day deal) and am wondering whether it makes the cut. So far the list includes: canistel, kaffir lime, tahitian lime, peach florida prince, coffee ;) Wondering whether it's a bit too late in the season for peach and citrus due to flowering etc but...
Comment by Lissa on August 31, 2016 at 4:52

Well done Sophie :) You have a lot going on there, right down to making your own jams and ferments.

I had a native Hibiscus growing for the purpose of tea/cordial making. The plant was incredibly thorny and the flowers bloomed and closed before I could crop them after work each day. I ended up removing it and putting in the Saba Nut instead.

Comment by Lissa on August 31, 2016 at 4:49

Now that is an interesting cordial recipe. Pink tipped might equate to pink coloured cordial do you think? Green tipped might equate to a weird sweet green drink.

Comment by Susan on August 30, 2016 at 20:24

Sophie, well done.  I have no trouble with lettuce over summer.   Plant it where it will get partial shade, plenty of water and the loose leaf varieties such as mignonettes and you'll be fine.  You'll also need to pick leaves early in the morning. Love your little garden fence.

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