Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Last month, I ventured back out into my garden after a lengthy absence, not at all sure what I would find. I was delighted to find that most of my fruit trees survived, though some fared better than others.

(Funny enough, the Nasturtiums had gone completely feral so the yard didn’t look nearly as bad as it was because it was all covered with a layer of cheery orange flowers!)

Over in my “orchard” of dwarf fruit trees, the Dwarf Red Shahtoot was covered by the strangling vines that grow over everything that sits still long enough around here.

I thought for sure it was dead (not just dormant) but saw green through some of the bark. One side of the tree has survived, at least, so I gave it a good feed and a coat of BD paste and hoped for the best. 

Soon after, I had buds, leaves and berries. I’ll still have to wait and see how much of the tree comes back to life.

My 3 tropical apple trees seem to have been completely unbothered by my lack of care. 

Two of the trees, my Golden Dorsett and Tropic Sweet, have now bloomed and

set a reasonable number of fruit.

 I’ve even had to thin the fruit a bit, with as many as four fruit in a group.

The Tropical Anna hasn’t bloomed yet but is putting on new growth.

The orange trees were absolutely covered with blooms and the fragrance was heavenly!

  The fruit is beginning to swell and it won’t be long before I’ll have to think about thinning those out, as well.

The poor little Tahitian Limewhich has never looked terribly healthy, is doing its best. It has bloomed and is actually trying to set fruit.

The Dwarf Peach, whose very healthy “belly” drags the ground anyway, bloomed and has set a few fruit. I still have to figure out a way to protect those peaches from rodents given their proximity to the ground! (I’m working on “peach cages”. Otherwise, I’ll have to enclose the whole little tree in wire mesh and stake it to the ground if I plan on getting a peach.

The Lots-o-Lemons is just beginning to bloom and sadly, there are still no blooms on my Jaboticaba tree.

Over in another area, my Dwarf Freemont Mandarin was doing poorly with an ant infestation and sooty mould, which it has battled since I got it. Nothing else I tried worked, so I banded it to stop the ants and removed every single leaf except for the new growth. Cross-my-fingers, it seems to be working.

The Dwarf Nectarine put out its brilliant red foliage and single bloom. I was surprised to find one tiny fruit growing a few days ago.

I untangled the sprawling, gangly-looking

Pepino plants and installed them vertically in a couple of tomato cages. They have begun putting out more foliage, blooms and fruit.

The white Choko, has begun climbing back up the fence, and I have 3 plants starting for anyone who needs one.

Back up near the top of the yard, the Red Tamarillo is happy and fruiting like mad. I’m able to bag some of it, but I’ll have to plant the next tree somewhere that allows me to more safely access it and not teeter on the edge of a slope with a ladder.

The Pigeon Peas have been providing food for the birds and the bees. I’ve managed to get a couple of meals-worth for myself, as well.

They are beginning to slow down, now, so I’m trying to get some more started to plant elsewhere and make sure I have plenty to share next season.

OH! And I can see the very start of a Pineapple on one of the 3 plants I originally got from Elaine.

Down at the very bottom of the yard is where I planted the Cherry tree. I was so happy to see that it has survived and is putting out leaves and blooms on all branches.

The nearby Dwarf Black Mulberry is also doing well and putting out plenty of fruit.

I’ve also started planting out some annuals, like Roma Tomatoes, Spaghetti Squash, Zucchinis, Yacon, and lots of flowers to bring in the pollinators and other good bugs.

Too much out there to mention it all, but I was so glad that most of the garden survived without me. It still needs a lot of work, but at least I don’t have to start completely over.

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Comment by Mary-Ann Baker on October 6, 2016 at 15:48

Lissa sorry having troubles logging on again - the sausgaes will be cooked seperartaly and labelled - there are 4 flavours ( and 1 set of mixed gluten free 

Thanks Dianne about the Capulin cherry - i dont suppose you kept the branch to try to strike ? or any possibility of getting a cutting to try to strike? I have kept you a parking spot near the house too ( thats not a bribe just some info in case I cant get on again before Saturday - cant get into my inbox at all ! ) 

Comment by Dianne Caswell on October 6, 2016 at 14:48
Mary-Ann, I have the Capulin Cherry growing and it has performed well. Tends to spread it's wings and it needed to be staked but other than that I would recommend it. It did flower this season but I cut that branch as it was hanging on the ground and it's wings clipped.
Comment by Lissa on October 6, 2016 at 5:19

I can bring Pepino cuttings for you Mary-Ann.

Can I confirm please - all the sausages are gluten free?  If not, I can easily bring some of my own.

Comment by Jan Holley on October 5, 2016 at 21:16

Thanks for the kind words, everyone. It's good to be back out there.

BTW Elaine, the little piece of sweet potato that hitched a ride on one of the pineapples is also doing well!

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on October 5, 2016 at 20:57

Great blog Jan! Good to see you active. Your cherry is outstripping mine which has buds and little else. Chuffed that the Pineapple ex-top so rudely yanked from its growing space here, pruned and transplanted has recovered and is fruiting. Pines really are a tough hombre, it's good to know that.

Comment by Jan Holley on October 5, 2016 at 20:47

I'll check the ones I've started Mary-Ann. I'm happy to give you one if they're ready.

Comment by Mary-Ann Baker on October 5, 2016 at 20:31
if anyone has pepino plants they can bring on saturday ( and pineapple tops or yams or yacon or cussask pineapple plants or seeds ) I will save you special sausages of your choice!!! they are special - have ordered 5 different flavours that they make here themselves so they are flavoursome and little if no fat ... have asked to be notified when the cherry comes back into Daleys and has anyone had sucess with a capulin cherry - they sound good too -
Comment by Lissa on October 5, 2016 at 19:44

Ah I remember now some of our members buying the cherry trees. Would love to be kept updated about their progress.

Comment by Jan Holley on October 5, 2016 at 19:43

Lissa, the Cherry is the  Two-Way grafted, Low chill tree that was offered by Daley's  with the Minnie Royal and Royal Lee grafted together (for pollination).

Comment by Lissa on October 5, 2016 at 19:40

A Cherry Tree! That is pretty special. Do you know the variety Jan? I've been told they won't fruit in Brisbane.

Your other trees are doing their best to produce fruit for you in Spring. Glad to see you are out and about in the garden again.

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