Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Well, I've just managed to get one last blog post in before the end of 2019 and what a year it has been!  I have been very busy but not so much in the garden because as usual, the December heat hits and not a lot vegie wise does any good.  Capsicums, Chilli,  Eggplant and corn is about all that does well in my garden.  Tomatoes struggle especially as I always get spider mite infestations.  Suprisingly, I have lettuce (salanova varieties at the front row of this picture vs normal varieties behind them - they've bolted while salanova's are looking great.) and silverbeet still doing really well as I have them in a bed that has light shade and I've covered them with a light net.

That's not to say I haven't been busy.  If you remember from one of my previous blogs, I had 4 banana spikes open up within 6 weeks of each other.  Well, the time of banana gluttony arrived.  I gave numerous banana's away to friends and have been busy freezing and dehydrading.  I have dehydrated 4 x the large jars you see in the following picture + frozen 50 banana's +  made 50 banana spring rolls.   The kids are SICK of banana's!

The picture is just a sample of all the preserving I've been up to .  I've got 6 bottles of mango chutney, 3 jars of chilli jam, 7 of strawberry jam and 9 jars of peaches.  All of this is home produce except the strawberries and mango chutney(though it does use my chillies and ginger) - I bought 4 kg of "jam" strawberries from the markets for $10 and foraged the mangoes from mango trees growing along the railway line.   The next job is to start drying, bottling and freezing mangoes!  My kids and I love all things mango and those trees are loaded this year so I'm going to make the most of it.  My first harvest of mangoes are slowly ripening in the house in milk crates - only enough each day for fresh eating at the moment and they go into the fruit bowl.  I'm going back to harvest heaps more tomorrow and the amount of banana's I currently have -> I'm hoping to put twice that up of mangos!

My mangoes that I grow at home are only enough to keep us in fresh eating - no where near enough for preserving but that's okay. 

The lycees have also started - YUM!! This year, I managed to get the net over them.  Last year, we looked to have a bumper crop - went away for 4 days and came back to the tree stripped bare.  It was either bats or cockatoo's as there was heaps of 1/2 eaten ones all over the ground - HEARTBREAKING. 

I've also  had 4 dragon fruit - these are so quick! it is 2 months from flower bud to ripe fruit.  Since all the rain, I have so many more buds starting.  If you look carefully in this, there is 4 more buds in the picture.  

I also managed to net my pomegranites this year so should be able to enjoy without fruit fly maggots this year.  I didn't get too many set though, so that's a disappointment.  Previous year I had over 40 on the tree but lost most to fruit fly.  This year I've netted but only had about 8 fruit set.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ It is what it is. 

So what have I learnt in 2019? 

  • That december is the time for fruit in my yard and don't buy apples :)
  • Vegie gardening is just a disappointment but you can do some 
  • Preserving is rewarding but after the 5th dehydrator full of bananas, the tips of my fingers blister from picking off the dried fruit :

Well that's it from me guys.   Hopefully your gardening is productive and you're looking forward to 2020's garden. 

Happy gardening folks. 

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Comment by Sophie on February 3, 2020 at 16:09

looking great!!

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on December 28, 2019 at 22:46

You know, my tomatoes and capsicums are getting slaughtered by fruit fly.  But, my pomegranates and figs aren't being touched (the figs are netted).  I've got pakchoi, corn, silverbeet and lots of "crazy Asian/Indian greens" like Moringa, sweet leaf, warrigals etc.  And guess what?  The damn Madagascar beans are cropping again! (Seriously, one of those in every yard would end world hunger!).  

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