Brisbane Local Food

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Finally cleaned up the pumpkin vines!!

Judging from all the posts many of us had a busy weekend in the garden :) Love to see what others are up to in Brisbane :)

As indicated by the title, I've finally cleaned up most of the pumpkin vines, ripe or not..

This is a 'before' photo on Saturday morning..

This is the 'after'

This is the 'aftermath' :P .. will need to run this over with the mower and let the chooks compost them...

There were 13 of them, one was picked after this picture is taken... we've given away a few and eaten one or two before this final harvest... Not as many as I had hoped.. the pumpkins were mostly concentrated where we can hand pollinate easily...

A few of them are damaged although the other side is good...

I accidentally cut a passionfruit vine while cutting up the pumpkin & sweet potato vines :(


This is above my accidental cut....... maybe this is from the thicker vine from two metres away and not the one I cut?? Wishful thinking..... I've also cut a volunteered snake bean which have grown up a hibiscus bush and a large chilli bush..there's heps of baby beans and flowers on it too :(

I've uncovered a patch of ... is this yarrow? I have sown them before, but thought they didn't grow...

Other work done includes fixing up this garlic patch damaged by chooks... ^^"...

Thinned the fruits on the tall pawpaw tree adored by fruit bats ~ This is before..

These are the green paw paws harvested... about 20 small ones...

Still look pretty crowded afterwards....

First time using drink bottle green house.. these are lucerne.. looks like I didn't cover all the seeds.. but germinated anyways...

The mini banana paw paw circle half dug.....

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Comment by Scarlett on May 29, 2010 at 21:05
Hi Joanne

Here is the link - . I rang them and they sent me an order form. I posted it and then they posted me the banana plantlets when they came in, with instructions on how to grow them from test tubes until they were big enough to plant out - mine arrived in November, I kept them in plastic and shadecloth as per instructions, then planted them out in January. They were $7 each and there are about ten varieties you can choose from (but not Cavendish).
Comment by Joanne Chung on May 29, 2010 at 20:43
Hi Flo,

Your yard look good.. you can actually see the ground again :).. I didn't even know you have passion fruit vine.. must be hidden from view..

Scarlett, I am most interested in your info on banana.. did you just call them up and order the planting material over the phone?
Comment by Florence on May 12, 2010 at 22:19
Scarlett, that's the number on the DPI page I rang, and they gave me the contact details of backyard bananas. I've emailed them today, they said they should have stock available on the dwarf varieties in a couple of weeks time, but they're $30 each... Do you still have the contact details of your supplier?
Comment by Scarlett on May 12, 2010 at 16:44
They need to be dwarf or else your circle has to be bigger in order to provide sufficient water and nutrients and light to sustain the plants. As your circle is smaller than normal I guess it will be even more important to have dwarf plants - especially if you wish to interplant with pawpaws. Both bananas and pawpaws are quite greedy for food and water.

I got my bananas from DPI and grew them from tissue culture. You're not allowed to give people banana suckers. DPI wants all home banana growers to know what diseases they have to control so there is no threat to the banana industry. Home growers are not allowed to grow Cavendish at all as this is the main farmed banana. Information, approvals and process for growing bananas in Brisbane can be found here: (note you need to look up your local DPI office on white pages - i think ours is Ann St). They had about 10 varieties to choose from, several were dwarves. I got Blue Java and Dwarf Ducasse (both dwarves) and some Ladyfinger as well. The best ones are dwarf ducasse, and the lady finger irritate me because I have to use a ladder to remove dead fronds and to pick the banana bunches. The others I can reach - much easier :) The Blue Java don't seem to grow or ripen as well as the Ducasse.

They only grow the tissue culture plants twice a year - I got mine in test tubes in October or November (in the mail) and they were ready to plant out in January (and I had to fuss with them over the summer - plastic tents, shadecloth, not allowed to dry out/ get too hot). The plantlets were $7 each. All of mine survived. It's worth it - lovely virus and disease free planting material, very vigorous.

The dwarf varieties are from overseas - probably selected through vegetative propagation over a long time - but apparently several old varieties of bananas do in fact still have fertile seeds (they call them donkey bananas in South America) - there may have been a breeding program this way.
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on May 12, 2010 at 16:10
Unless there's been some selective breeding, the only 'dwarf' bananas I've heard of are the Cavendish varieties, the Lady Fingers are very tall plants. Think 'big bananas, small plants'. Since there are distinct varieties, there must be plant breeding ... but with seedless plants?
Comment by Florence on May 12, 2010 at 12:20
Okay, I've received the nursery information, there are only two... one is a vegetative supplier in Withcott, but only sells lady finger. The other one is a tissue culture nursery which pretty much sells all the allowed varieties.. but do not have any in stock right now.. I've actually came across it on google search before ..
Comment by Donna on May 12, 2010 at 12:08
I too am interested in why you mention only dwarf banana's... Awhile ago I spent the better part of a day trying to track down dwarf varieties, googling/ calling etc - without any success at all.

My ones are not dwarf and I got them from a market in Beenleigh - still haven't fruited though (starting to wonder if they are ornamental, think it was just neglect for the first year...)
Comment by Florence on May 12, 2010 at 9:45
Will find out more about the soup..

re: bananas.. I was planning on planting the sole surviving banana sucker from Donna, I believe it's not a dwarf.. I would like to get dwarfs though. Why does it have to be dwarfs though?

On a side note, I rang up DPI yesterday wanting to do the right thing and get a permit to plant bananas, but I was told I can't get a permit if I got planting materials from friends.... ^^"

But on DPI's website, it said "An inspector's approval to move and plant bananas in residential areas can be obtained free of charge by making an application to the DPI&F Business Information Centre on 13 25 23. This is required to plant all banana plants, including home garden bananas and even if you use your own planting material."... I would have thought my own planting material would refer to plants from other then QBAN.. apparently the only QBA nursery which sells Ducass is in North Queensland ....
Comment by Scarlett on May 11, 2010 at 16:46
ooh green pawpaw soup sounds interesting , would love to know how you make that - slivers in chicken broth?

hysterical how different it looks :)

it was lovely weather for it! and now we have lovely rain today - excellent :)

cool re banana pawpaw circle - remember you must use dwarf banana varieties :)
Comment by Florence on May 11, 2010 at 10:04
Elaine, it's good to confirm it is Yarrow ~

Donna, still have heps to do, you just didn't see the junk in the photos ^^ We've given a few away, the general concenses I am getting is they use it to make soup... we haven't done it yet...
Found a recipe online.. but I don't think this is the one they have in mind.. probably more so of a clear broth with no milk & butter typical of Chinese soups..

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