Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Hi everyone,

I'm feeling like my garden is just getting away from me at the moment.  I'm behind in my planting, things are going to waste, everything is messy AND I've hardly been on BLF at all! :)  I had planned to be out there all day today but I don't garden in the rain - not my thing.

I did see Valerie's post about her last lot of coffee beans going to waste.  Case in point - All of these tomato's are just sitting there waiting to be harvested before I rip out the dying vine and I still haven't got to them (and won't unless it dries up today.  I've got a bean patch that has nearly dried out pods and it won't produce any more until I get rid of all the seeding ones but don't have time.

My corn is going great and at the back of this bed is some more cucumbers.  These are my son's plants.  He wanted to garden so he planted these in little pots and was so chuffed when they grew.  We managed to get down in the patch mid -week to plant.  Perfect timing too because the next day it was overcast and drizzling - he hasn't had to check on them since.

Rosella's are doing great down the side of the house where the chook pen used to be.  Some self seeded tomatoes are doing their thing as well - I figure the more the merrier with toms.

The eggplants JUST WILL NOT QUIT!  I wish I liked eggplant more :)

The four eggplants in the below picture were harvested before the above one was take. Up to 8 eggplants a week!!!

My kids really love mint.  Last year, as the temps heated up, the grasshoppers got in and decimated it so this year, I have put some into the front side garden beds that I have completely netted.  I'm planning to keep all my greens here - close to the front door for easy access and netted to prevent bugs.   There are three beds in total.  At the moment I have perpetual spinach, shallots, lettuce, rocket, beetroot, pak choi, basil, mint and I'm trying 2 Kaileen express broccoli's again to see how they'll go. 

Started sprouting again - want to eat salad but not always lettuce.  Got this from Bunnings last year and haven't looked back.

Pomegranite tree is absolutely loaded with these bright orange flowers.  Let's hope I get more than 1 fruit this year AND that I don't pick too early and actually get to eat it :)  Apples are starting too and I'll need to net those soon.  BTW, you know how I told all of you back in early september to get your nets on the stone fruit.  Well guess who got too busy and didn't net until 2 weekends ago?  Yup - been throwing out heaps of nectarines because they are infested.  Hopefully they didn't get to the peaches as they take a little longer to ripen.

First crop of madagascar beans harvested - about 500g.  Gonna try Andy's baked bean recipe. 

Last but not least, my beautiful hippies.  I've had people stopping by just telling me how much they love walking past my house.  Had a couple ask to take some flowers and I've also given away a few bulbs.  They are just so prolific and beautiful.

Well that's it from me folks.  Enjoy your wet weather.

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Comment by Elaine de Saxe on October 15, 2017 at 21:31

Another way of dealing with weeds is to cut the plants off at soil level leaving the roots to feed the microbes and the tops to compost in-situ. That way not removing the nutrients and killing the microbes. Often you have to re-do the area as the plants re-grow until the roots run out of energy and/or the nutrients are restored to the area.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on October 15, 2017 at 21:29

Cobbler's Pegs - great plants, tough as old boots. The seeds make a great pepper. Pick a heap of them seeds and all and make into a compost tea. Then spread the tea on the places where they grow. That way you get the nutrients into the soil where it's wanted and the weeds should not grow there again. Weeds come to give specific nutrients to areas in need so just pulling them up doesn't do anything to satisfy the reason the weeds appeared in the first place.

Have you read Peter Andrew's two books (or even just one of them)? At least one is available in Caboolture Library: Back from the Brink and Beyond the Brink. A whole different way of looking at weeds and also of land forms.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on October 15, 2017 at 21:22

Mary-Ann there are plans in the pipeline for a FAQs based on posts on BLF. I've never had the energy to buckle down and do one and Sophie volunteered earlier this year but got sidetracked with her own life. It's a work in progress on Google Docs or not in progress really. Do you have any suggestions for resurrecting it and bringing it to e-publication?

Comment by Christa on October 15, 2017 at 20:15

Those hippies are stunning Susan, they should put on a good show every year from now.  Is the pomegranite a tall or dwarf. They grow easily by seed.  

Your son's patch is looking good, a budding gardener by the looks. Well done.

Comment by Mary-Ann Baker on October 15, 2017 at 19:05

elaine have you ever though of writing a book of great tips - thanks for the frozen  tomato one ///

Comment by Mary-Ann Baker on October 15, 2017 at 19:04

beautiful garden Susan as usual - great job you are doing ... down in ours on Friday night before the big rains and all you can see is cobblers pegs growing - last weekend I had cleared them all out and there were hundreds again - cant believe how fast they grow and the seeds of the vegies I had planted last weekend havent sprouted at all... eating sugaloaf cabbages, apple cucumbers , collards, tomatoes cherry guavas, strawberry quavas are nearly ready to pick and quisarios are comng along well. One promegranite the size of a qualls egg and the avocados dropped off .. do have the most adorable three day old chickens that Col went out in the rain and covered with a tarp and gave them a new bed of old blanket and towel as the straw was wet ( so like nature )))  

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on October 15, 2017 at 16:54

Hm! The Fried Green Tomatoes they ate at the Whistle Stop Cafe maybe were done this way: dredged in flour and fried in Bacon fat. Not seen the film so don't really know; correspondent provided the recipe, sounds less fuss than making batter. To get batter to stick, the food needs covering in flour to start with.

However, choose your Toms to eat green - some are very acid some are sweet. Found the Burke's Backyard variety very sweet when green and great for the FGT recipe. Tommy Toes aren't too bad green either as probably (since it's an ancestor of BB) is Rouge de Mamande.

Comment by Valerie on October 15, 2017 at 16:01

I just found this link for green tomatoes if you'll rip them all off.

I'll have to post on the other thread too. 

Comment by Valerie on October 15, 2017 at 15:57

I love that tip Elaine. Susan, great to see how your garden is going. Thanks for sharing. Oh and google eggplant bacon, worth a try. I have also seen a chocolate eggplant cake recipe somewhere but haven't tried it. 

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on October 15, 2017 at 10:05

Always good to read your posts, Susan! Flourishing in the rain now. With the Toms, just wash them and toss them into the freezer. When thawed, the skins come away and the mush is ready to use in cooking.

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Vetiver grass helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion.  It can protect against pests and weeds. Vetiver is also used as animal feed. (Wiki.)

GrowVetiver is a plant nursery run by Dave & Keir Riley that harvests and grows Vetiver grass for local community applications and use. It is based in Beachmere, just north of Brisbane, Australia.

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