Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Death of a mango tree - taking stock...

Lovely lovely rains last week softened the ground so much that the dead mango tree (what was left of it) fell over onto my raised bed. Luckily I had just pulled out the snake beans and most of the basil, in readiness for sowing brassicas. A few weeks ago we pulled out the Hills Hoist and planted a soursop in its place!

While I had the camera out, decided to take stock of all the recent plantings, as well as existing trees etc....
First, the chilli-asparagus bed

Found a nice fat sprout!

Comfrey growing at the back, and okra left to seed..

Tomatoes doing well, kale flourishing (among self seeded amaranth) in the brick bed behind, raddichio and mustard greens competing for space

Kangkong in a planter box, brahmi in a pot

Lemons and kumquats, also in pots

The old faithfuls - bananas, pawpaws

Up on the deck, I looked down and up at the choko vine, and joy oh joy, spied 7 chokos in various sizes (picked 2 big ones today)

Inspected the beds near the custard apple tree ( lots of fruit this year, slurped the first one yesterday!) - pandan, kaffir lime, curry plant (not in picture) sweet potatoes growing wild

Hubby decided to extend the L shaped bed ( he'd cut down a huge palm tree a few weeks ago) - making space for a blueberry bush (yet to be found) and he put up a bracket for my upside down tomato plant

I walked up the side to the front of the house, going past the jicama (tubers should be ready in a couple of weeks!) and gave the rosellas an encouraging word - they have been such a joy, made 9 pots of jam so far!

With the radishes and silverbeet coming on well, and lettuces, chinese veges sown, hopefully this will be a very productive season! Looking for seed potatoes now, and nervously considering sowing carrots and beetroot again...

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Comment by Donna on April 20, 2009 at 18:54
I think mine are a bit big but I have picked them now so have to do something! Will let you know how I go.

Scarlett, hopefully I will figure out how to save some seeds and therefore will have them to share for next year.
Comment by Addy on April 18, 2009 at 21:10
Appreciate the nice comments! Back to rosellas - this may be useful, from gardenweb -
"To prepare the fruit, make an incision around the base of the calyx below the bracts, remove it with the seed capsule attached. Chop and use in fruit salads, or cook and serve with crushed peanuts as a side dish, or stew with sugar as a filling for pies and tarts. The syrup obtained by stewing with sugar may be added to puddings, cake frostings, jellies, salad dressings, or poured over gingerbread, pancakes, waffles or ice cream, or used as a base for refreshing drinks. Rosellas have a taste similar to that of cranberries. Young leaves and tender stems can be eaten raw in salads or cooked as greens. Add a few to curries. The flowers make a colourful edible ornament for a salad. Buds can be pickled or boiled as a vegetable; flowers can be stuffed, made into fritters or into tea." Wow!
Comment by Trinette on April 18, 2009 at 16:19
Your garden looks aweome - love your work!
Comment by Scarlett on April 17, 2009 at 20:28
do you remember red zinger tea bags? rosella was in those. makes the best jam. i killed mine. have to get more.
Comment by Addy on April 17, 2009 at 10:17
Had a look at the Gardenate discussion on rosellas and there's a recipe for chutney! Here tis...
Rosella Chutney Ingredients: ½ kg Rosella calyxes washed & dried thoroughly, ½ kg cooking apples, ½ kg onions, 2 large chillies (or capsicums), 2½ cups vinegar, ½ cup Worchestershire sauce, ½ cup raisins, 1 dessertspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, ½ kg sugar. Spice bag (1 dessertspoon whole allspice, 1 teaspoon cloves, 2 inch cinnamon stick, combine in clean muslin bag, remove before bottling). Method: Finely chop the rosella calyxes, apples, onions and chillies. Add remaining ingredients and boil together for 10 minutes. Add sugar and boil for ¾ -1 hour, stirring frequently. Bottle and seal in sterilised jars
Comment by Donna on April 17, 2009 at 8:02
Okay, I had never heard of Rosella until I got given the seedlings by a lovely couple from Northey Street so confess complete ignorance.

I will go out this weekend and pick some and if I run into any trouble that my friend google can't help with I will start a basic how to post for rosella harvesting!
Comment by Addy on April 16, 2009 at 19:37
We are really enjoying salads from the garden, with baby silverbeet, kale, etc. so satisfying. The recipe above is for a cordial.... like Ribena! In fact, in S'pore rosella is sometimes referred to as the ribena flower! I had the most delicious rosella drink in KL early this year, at the bottom of the glass was a candied rosella (just the calyx, no seed). I guess if you thickened the mixture, it could be used as a sauce for icecream, pancakes etc...??
Comment by Florence on April 16, 2009 at 18:14
Your garden look so productive !!!
What is this Rosella syrup for? Use it like Maple syrup?
Comment by Addy on April 15, 2009 at 17:02
About 2 cms in diameter... Don't leave them to get too old, hard to pick - I use cutters. Here's a recipe for a syrup, if you get sick of making jam - I got it off a website -
"Harvest a large quantity of rosellas, to fill your biggest stainless steel saucepan about two-thirds full. Wash well. Cover the fruit, seeds and all, with water and bring to the boil. Simmer gently until soft, and the red colour has faded from the calyx. Strain through a sieve, throw away the fruit and measure the liquid. Add the liquid back to the saucepan and add a cup of sugar to every cup of liquid (1 litre of juice = 1 kilo of sugar). Heat gently until all the sugar is dissolved, stirring often. Once the sugar is dissolved bring to the boil for one minute. Take off the heat; add the strained juice of lemons (depending on availability and to taste, I would add up to 10 lemons to 3 litres of cordial) then stir in 2 tablespoons of citric acid. Bring back very briefly to the boil. Bottle into clean, dry bottles and seal while still hot. This keeps at least for a year."
I'm going to try it, but will hold the citric acid...
Comment by Donna on April 15, 2009 at 13:19
Your garden is awesome and looks so wonderfully organised! How do you know when rosella is ripe, how big doe the pods get? Can you eat it raw or do you need to make jam out of it - I guess it's not called the Qld Jam plant for nothing!

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