Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

First root crop harvest from wicking beds, blue eggs and impulse buys.

Hi everyone.  I am trying to be a little more  regular with the blogging; aiming for every 2 weeks or so.   It's fun, I love sharing my garden with everyone and it is great at allowing me to keep up with what I am  doing and how my garden is progressing (I would never put this much effort into a garden journal).

 

Well, I'm just a little excited.  Today, once the sun had peeked through, I was just wandering around the  garden and decided to pull up one of my little carrots to see how things were progressing.  I looked for  the largest stem and pulled it out.  While not huge, (They were planted end of May and are due to be  harvested end of september) they are a very decent size.  I decided to pull enough for dinner tonight, as  well as add some little beetroots, to have roasted with roast chicken.  These were the Halequin f1 from  Master gardeners so I had hoped to get a multitude of colour.  Out of the 5 I pulled, all were yellow.  It  may just be that the yellow variety develops faster but I will be very disappointed if none turn out to be  purple or white.

Here was this mornings haul from the garden.  You can see a scabby little broccoli head in amongst all  that.  Very disappointed with it but probably not the seeds fault, mostly mine.  I was so paranoid with  the slater problem I had in the other bed and losing so many brocc/cauli seedlings, that I left two to  develop in every spot.  Too much over crowding methinks!

 

All this wonderful rain has come to fill my tank up nicely.  It also couldn't have come at a better time.   My citrus are all starting to bloom again, the multigrafted apple has new flowers and the multigrafted  peach/nectarine has tiny fruit developing all over it.  My netting is coming soon and once the last graft  finishes flowering, that thing will be covered head to toe and hopefully I'll get to eat all of my beautiful  harvest this year :)

 

A first time for me is growing my own potatoes.  Now don't laugh at my little harvest - I never really  expected much.  They were store bought potatoes that had started to chit on my bench and rather than  throw them out, I thought "what the heck -lets give this a go".  They had started to die off on me last  week, way earlier than what they were supposed to, so I didn't hold much hope.  There seemed to be no  apparent reason, the bushes looked healthy and then just died.  I started to dig through all the layers  and found this delightful supply ( I only planted 3 to start with).  And… I also worked out the reason for  their sudden death.  I found bones, yes that's right, BONES buried in the mulch.  Bloody DOG!! She  obviously got in there and knocked things around a bit.  Anyway, I have a question about the little baby  potatoes - Is it worth throwing them in the ground or should I just leave it?  I started another little  potato patch with storebought potatoes about a month ago and they are doing really well so far.  I just  need to keep the dog and the chooks out of the bed.

 

I posted a photo about a week ago about our new layer Penny joining the ranks.  Gosh she is worth it.   Laid her first pretty blue egg at about 22 weeks (far better than some of those older free loaders) and  she is laying about 6 eggs per week (also much greater than vicky (1 every 2nd day) and Minty (3 out of  4 days).   She is an Australorp crossed with Aracauna that I got from Marie from BLF.  I would  recommend getting these if you can.  While here eggs are more of a mint green than true blue, they are  very pretty and frequent.  We are now getting about 14 eggs a week (those in the egg carton are all  mine) so I have stopped buying eggs . YaY!! I am having trouble keeping track of new vs old eggs.  At the  moment, I have a two carton system, where all the eggs from one week goes in one and the eggs from  the next in another but I have "subtly" requested an egg skelter for my birthday.  This is what I hope my  gorgeous display of eggs will look like once I obtain it. 

I also made an impulse buy on the weekend.  I have now become the owner of a beautiful little one year old Malay golden dwarf coconut palm.  Never really wanted one of these (coming from north queensland beaches, coconuts were never anything special) until I saw Steve's add on BLF forum.  Did I have room? -> I'll make some.  As I live out at wynnum and there is absolutely no danger of frosts, that little palm will get transplanted into a nice warm, sunny spot.  I'm thinking that it will do really well out the front near the Banana's and mango tree.

 

That's it from me.  I'm still waiting for those beautiful spring days but have welcomed the lovely rain over the past week (just wish it would rain weekdays instead of weekends but can't have everything :)

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Comment by Rob Walter on September 2, 2014 at 19:45

They're sugarsnap peas, Susan, from Green Harvest. The variety is Cascadia. You eat them whole like snow peas, but wait until they are fat like shelling peas. I'd offer some seeds, but it's too late this year anyway. Maybe I'll save some from the plants, so hit me up next autumn!

Comment by Susan on September 2, 2014 at 19:29

Hi Rob,  I can't WAIT for my mulberries.  I only planted it late last year, it has grown to be taller than me and the thing is absolutely covered in berries.  I had to laugh at my son.  He picked a red one the other day and was spitting it out when I caught him.  I didn't know weather I should laugh (his expression) or yell (my FIRST BERRIES!!) but ended up laughing at him.  He should know better by now than to pick things off the trees that he hasn't asked me about and eat them (an apple full of fruit fly grubs when he was 4.5) I'm a bit jealous about the peas -> I would appreciate it if you could post the variety you're growing.  I'm really disappointed in mine this year and as I've tried them in both wicking and normal soil, it has to be the seeds.  

Hi Darren, with Kale, what do you actually use it for?  I've heard about it but since it was never anything that I learnt to cook with, I can't bring myself to dedicate precious space for something I don't know how to use.  I could be convinced - sweet potato is only something I've started using in the past 5 years so is now growing in my garden - but I need to know how to use it.  :)

Comment by DARREN JAMES on September 1, 2014 at 18:49

Hi everyone great blog with pictures to match.This is what its all about growing great produce from the garden and bringing straight to table with a few losses here and there.LOL My pick of the crop   would have to be my curly kale at the moment it really is growing like grass it is only successful due to the netting Im sure .The chicken manure and guinea pig poo no doubt have also helped.Regarding root crops I have an old piece of gutter wich asked me to take it home and grow radish insde  so far so good.These gutters and small pvc pipes also work fantasticlly well for spring onions and lettuce will get a few photos and display shortly

Comment by Rob Walter on August 31, 2014 at 9:37

I like that this has become the whatever-the-hell-is-happening-in-my-garden thread! Sometimes one needs to share, but it doesn't quite seem worth making a whole blog or forum post. Yesterday I picked my first serve of sugarsnap peas for the season and ate them last night. I instantly remembered why they are my favourite garden veg; if you steam them just right they actually get crisper and sweeter than eaten raw. From others' reports it sounds like maybe the possums did me a favour in demolishing my earlier crops.

Susan, I'd highly recommend daikon as an easy to grow root veg. They are a japanese radish, but eaten more as a turnip - steamed, or roasted - or as a fast pickle.

And for those berry enthusiasts out there, don't forget the humble mulberry. This is the first spring for my potted tree and it seems to be on track to produce quite a nice crop. I also forced it to produce an extra couple of crops over the summer by pruning off all the leaves, although they were fairly small quantities (because the tree was young, or this method produces smaller crops?). See picture below (with a dead raspberry cane in foreground for emphasis).

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on August 31, 2014 at 0:34

I'm a shocking fibber Susan.  I just normally tell you when I'm doing it. 

Comment by Susan on August 30, 2014 at 20:00

So Andy, do I have to apply fisherman's logic to everything you say now?  You know "It was thhhiiiiissss biiiiiiiig!!!" :)  I might have another layer soon.  Rosie, the black pure bred aracauna squatted today.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on August 29, 2014 at 21:01

Pfft... my ISA Browns are laying 4 eggs a day each ... um.. and they are day olds!!!!!!!   (Okay, I might be fibbing.)

Comment by Susan on August 29, 2014 at 20:12
Cres!! Wish you had of told me this earlier. My birthday is in 2 weeks and my husband has put one on order for me. Chickens are great. I can't recommend australorpxaracauna enough. She started laying 15 days ago and has laid 14 pretty blue eggs. My pure breeds are still NOT laying.
Comment by Cres on August 29, 2014 at 11:11

Susan,
I'm not sure how attached you are to that particular egg skelter design but if there's an Aldi near you see if they have any of their Expressi coffee capsule holders. For $13 they're a cheap and readily available alternative. I even tested in-store to some strange looks. I bought one for a friend and she said her small eggs fit just fine. And I know another friend is loving theirs as well. They'll roll down so no dating needed.

https://www.aldi.com.au/en/groceries/coffee/coffee-detail/ps/p/expr...

Now all I need is to work on is finishing my chook shed and get some feathered friends!

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on August 25, 2014 at 19:30

My Rozie just bandicoots our ginger. Takes what she wants, and leaves the rest growing. 

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