Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

So I've just come back from Melbourne - more specifically Phillip Island where my Aunt lives.  Popped down to drop my eldest daughter off to gain work experience as my Aunt runs her own coffee and lolly shop as well as a weekend market and took all of us on for summer jobs when we were younger and is still continuing the tradition with her great nephews and nieces.   Great for me as I have one child gainfully employed over summer!! I love my Aunt but what makes this even better is that she is one of the few people I know who is as enthusiastic as I am about growing her own food even though she has WAY less land than what I do - think 300 sq m duplex She grows all these fruit trees in a raised 45cm high garden bed that she built around the entire courtyard.  It's great to see a cold climate garden in summer.

First is the apples - these are pink ladies but she also has a granny smith cross pollinator

Next is the gorgeous pears - something we probably have no hope of in Brisbane

This is her cherry trees - normally has fruit on it by this time but she said that the winter was very cold so is prepared to have a late or no harvest this year.

Plums!!  So very many plums!

Many many raspberries - I picked a handful and scoffed then and there! Very sweet.

She didn't harvest her Rhubarb so that she could show it off to me :)

Figs starting.  I got some cuttings to bring home so we will see if I can get any to strike.

OMG check out the grapes!! Two vines that she has growing up and over the patio

She absolutely loves making quince paste and normally her little tree is completely loaded but only 1 stayed on this year.  She blames it on very dry and that she was travelling a lot so could not water so it dropped all it's fruit.

Well, I hoped you enjoyed checking out my Aunt's garden - very envious but to be fair to me, she is just as envious of my pawpaws, mangoes and lychees. 

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Comment by Dianne Caswell on December 28, 2017 at 8:26

Oh Susan, What a treat, to see a cold weather climate garden laden with fruit. Your Aunt certainly knows how to grow beautiful fruit to be envied. We can only admire from afar the gardeners who tend these gardens. Little Fruit Fly I am sure most Queenslanders would love that. Susan, thanks for sharing, love the pics.

Comment by Sophie on December 25, 2017 at 9:34

How lovely!! Thanks for sharing

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on December 25, 2017 at 8:49

Fruit fly - Queensland Fruit Fly - came from the rainforest originally and have been having a field day with all our crops ever since. The movement of fruit and veges interstate is restricted to hopefully stop infected fruit from being taken into fruit-fly-free zones. There's big signs mapping the restrictions on highways leading to southern fruit-growing areas which so far don't have fruit fly living there. There used to be inspection stops before you enter these zones. Though like the tick 'gate' we had between NSW and Qld, the fruit fly ones may have been abandoned.

With global warming the spread of fruit fly will be further south than they can live at present.

Comment by Lissa on December 25, 2017 at 4:49

I didn't think the FF was that widespread that it would be down there at all.

Yes, I can see the bit of garden edging in the rhubarb pic...along with a snail :)

The amount of light would influence what can be done in a small courtyard. Hopefully I will end up somewhere with some sun.

Comment by Susan on December 24, 2017 at 20:06

Hi Lissa, her son is a builder and built a 45 cm high, 50 cm wide garden bed around the fenced courtyard. Soil only and she hand waters hence the fruit dropping on the quince because she was away.  In the photo of the rhubarb, you can see the top of the garden bed edge - she had a flat piece put on so it could double as seating.  Fabulous idea and great use of small space.  I think the weather is too variable for fruit fly.  While they do have some very hot days, the majority is under 25 - think our gorgeous autumn days, do while they might get a few, they are never in the numbers that we get which devastate a crop.

Comment by Lissa on December 24, 2017 at 7:47

Loved this visit to your Aunts garden :) What a fabulous spot she lives in.

NO FRUIT FLY!! What fruit!! If only we could make FF disappear here.

You don't show what she is growing in Susan - is it big individual pots or wicking beds etc? Very interested as this will no doubt be my future with a productive garden.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on December 21, 2017 at 19:45

That's impressive!

Comment by Christa on December 21, 2017 at 18:54

That plum tree is loaded with fruit, unbelievable. Great to see what grows down south.  We visited Phillip Island many years ago, to visit the little penguins.  The gardening skill must run in your family.

Comment by Dave Riley on December 21, 2017 at 18:22

Philip island -- and no chicory?

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on December 21, 2017 at 17:30

Rock on Aunt!

Cherries Aus-wide have experienced poor growing seasons. We buy the 2nds woolies sell, tasty though and well worth it.

We can grow Pears, tropical Pears and like the tropical Apples are not great croppers afaik. Naturally I killed my trees. Simple solution for me anyway, grow what grows here without fuss and buy the rest.

Two European fruits which do well are the 4 common Fig varieties and Heritage Raspberries.

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