Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Well then.

You turn your back for five minutes and the greening business takes off.

It's scary. There's a thickening -- and, dare I say it, a quickening.. 

Outback, plants rule.

I don't think there is one seedling  -- and few seeds -- that haven't settled in situ and are now officially on the grow list. 

I must be doing a few things right.

At times like this it all seems to come together in a holistic garden-of-eden sort of way.

Let's see,...

I have spring onions a plenty, parsley,coriander, leaf celery, basil, tomatoes, brassicas, my trombonchino has taken off, potatoes, even the root veges have taken to the depths (touch wood), pepper leaf, climbing beans,lemons, nopales, broad beans, mizuna,Okinawan spinach, pigeon peas, chokoes (of course)...  burdock, purple yams, jicama, sunchokes  and yam bean.

On the go, soon to be planted out, are a range of radicchio/chicories and the rakkyo onions I just divided. In hope of starch  I have elephant's foot  and African yams being nurseried. 


I have been renovating my ponds with the notion of growing more species of edible water plants. I added one to the two I had, and hope to convert my bath tub into a yabby pond.*  

Now that I'm master of the art of water conditioning I am confident I can keep the life aquatic in comfort. 

Above ground --and water -- i'm gonna have another crack at growing paw paws. Most trees, even wee ones,offering edibles, don't survive well on my patch of sand -- but a neighbour ( 800 metres away) has done wonders with a pawpaw grove grown over many years of attention.So I'm gonna beg for his seed and advice. 

And figs...I want a fig tree.

But for now, everything's copacetic.

* Aside from a mix of online info, keeping and growing yabbies is referenced in these manuals which I hope to study. Ironically, friends catch sand and mud crabs when I'm thinking freshwater crustacea. Guess I'll need to later consider crabbing in the brine.

FYI here's an overview (pdf) on keeping yabbies. 

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Comment by Dave Riley on July 10, 2016 at 23:32

While I've planted out a lot of canavalia as a ground cover crop it hasn't come on enough to do much covering. But the Dog Bane--coleus canina -- is doing a great job. I've got it all over , hither and yon.
When planting out seedlings, all I do is hack a space by cutting back the Dog Bane and plant in the clearing. Some time I uproot a bit and chuck it -- but it is an easy plant to play with. 

My pigfaces haven't come on much this year  but there and here, I've got some keen canna indica and aloe vera. Like with the Dog Bane, I chop back the canna for mulch. 

I've also divided up some vetiver grass and planted that in a few spots among the veg. I'm not sure of the consequences but it will serve as mulch material and offer shade. As it is, the Pigeon Pea bushes are now shade functioning. 

This time of year I can plant in the valleys between the mounds with greater confidence. Furthermore the soil has come on enough that these depressions are becoming more fertile with a better water holding capacity. 

Even though I've close-planted and mixed my botanics up cheek to jowl, I am surprised how much close proximity I've been able to get away with.  Since I plan to shove even more seedlings into the dirt this capacity has to be a good thing. 

Many of the terracotta pots have been ringed by worm castings. Not all, yet -- but the blackened rims  of soil hold great promise of what is a'happening underneath. This consequence -- something I did not expect -- is a great reason to not fiddle with either the pots or the mounds, nor disturb the soil too much by digging and uprooting.

The garden 'plan' is now more in my head than evident from looking at the landscape. To me it has structure -- and a pattern -- but really little separation seems evident. Any planting 'plan' is ruled by (a) the sun and shade quotient; (b) how old the mounds are and how consolidated; (c) space to plant; (d) access to aerials for climbers.

I've got beans climbing up frangipanis and pigeon peas as well as climbers clinging to  improvised  jute lines running here and there.

The garden is beginning to seriously feed on itself. I may add some horse manure a couple of times per year to the 'paths'  but the feed in comes from the aloe vera brews I make up with kitchen washes, and manured sand I mine from the chook well as a relentless carpeting of grass clippings.

Next month, the large Silky Oak will drop a load of leaves over the whole patch --just as the cut grass isn't being dropped off because of the Winter dry  -- and that's my queue to harvest as much mulch as I can from whatever can be sickled.

I don't so much garden as mulch...and there is never enough of the stuff.

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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.

Place your business add here! ($5 per month or $25 for 9 months)

Talk to Andy on 0422 022 961.  You can  Pay on this link

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