Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

After carefully re-arranging the photos in the Album, I see they are out of order. So here they are in a logical kind of order.

Two views of a citrus bed. First the Sweet Potatoes got out of hand and the citrus suffered then the self-sown cover crop (aka weeds) plus the cover crop I put in then the self-sown Tomato all got well out of hand.

Along the way I found some surprises ...

Pupa of the Orchard Swallowtail:

and larva of the Heliothis moth (it's got a new name these days but still eats as much of our food as it ever did):

Then there's the native orchid, Geodorum densiflorum which is supposed to be 'common' on the east coast. I've never seen it before and now it has graced our plot with its presence and we're stoked.

Pruned the Lemonade tree and the Common Lemon tree and painted them with Biodynamic Tree Paste:

And the bed now looks a little more under control. All the Comfrey leaves, the cover crops and the Tomato with tree prunings are lying on top ready to increase the organic matter in the soil.

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Comment by Andrew Cumberland on April 17, 2013 at 22:27

Well I'll be!  (I think I just did a goldfish impression.)  That is very useful to know. You just improved my tomato and onion relish heaps. 

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on April 17, 2013 at 22:08

No you can't. And a beaut thing I found about freezing Tomatoes: wash and core, cut in quarters, bag in meal-sized portions (eg about a cup). When thawed, the Toms almost peel themselves - as does stone fruit done the same way - so no-fuss-freezing. Blanching is not for those of us who prefer simple solutions.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on April 17, 2013 at 21:45

LOL. I was thinking that.  I tend to use them in 1 kilo lots when I make sauces and jams.  You can never have too many tomatoes. 

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on April 17, 2013 at 20:21

Butterfly caterpillars I can live with, they do chew around a few leaves. These poor plants were stressed with all the growth competing in their bed so no real surprise they got chomped about a bit. I've pruned them and expect them to come good over the next year.

Green Tomatoes - well there's plenty you can do with them. You know the film Fried Green Tomatoes? turns out they really do eat them in the States. And some varieties are particularly nice even when green (Burke's Backyard variety are especially sweet when green). These are unknown in that respect, but I'll give them a whirl. Just dredge thick slices in some flour and shallow fry. They can be totally delicious. Then there's Green Tomato pickle, sauce and whatever-else I might find on the net. Then I can just leave some of them to ripen, most are fairly mature so should ripen alright.

Comment by Rob Walter on April 17, 2013 at 18:01

Orchard Swallowtails are the cause of regular garden quandaries for me. They're so beautiful (the wonderfully evolved caterpillar that resembles bird poo and the butterfly) but on a young citrus tree they're pretty destructive.

What are you going to do with the green tomatoes? After reading your correction regarding the variety, I suddenly realised the scale of the picture. You've got plenty there!

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on April 17, 2013 at 8:05

Not cherry Toms, Andy ... they are full-sized fruit of the sort grown in greenhouses commercially. Picked them green coz I demolished the plant. It has grown there for several months, produced some good fruit and was sprawling all over the garden bed. Usually I tame my Toms by growing on a single stem and removing the laterals. The Biodynamic Tree Paste is one of the traditional BD preparations. It's made up of BD 500 plus some other compost preps plus clay and probably other stuff. Have a read here. The preps are good, you don't have to accept the moon planting. I bought some 'tree paste' from Green Harvest which was not BD but supposedly 'similar' and the plants grew magnificently but the fruit was scarce. The stuff I have now is the real thing so more than interested to see how the plants respond.

Comment by Lissa on April 17, 2013 at 4:51

You've had a good tidy up - most satisfying :)

Love the close ups of the animal life. I must have 5 different sorts of caterpillars munching away on my greens at the moment. It's a fight to the death between us.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on April 17, 2013 at 0:24

The orchid is way cool.  Love that you got the tomato harvest.  Look like cherries.  (Now this is a "Andy wants to learn question" - why pick them green?)

I'd also be most grateful if you could tell me about the bio-paste.  

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