Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Thought I'd try my hand at this blogging thing. My garden is always a work in progress - has been a straight ornamental garden, fitted in where the previous owners couldn't think of any landscaping features to add, with beds often filled with builders' rubble; then was a native garden, morphing into a habitat garden, then a basketball practice area, now is on the way to being a food garden, but with plenty of flowers, preferably perennials, not necessarily native.

Currently, there is a main vege patch, with herbs where they fit in all round the place. Our family's vegetable consumption runs mainly to the standards - potatoes, carrots, broccoli, peas, beans, zucchini, pumpkin, sweet potato, asparagus, perennial leeks, and I try to grow as much of these in the space as possible, in season. Not much in the way of leafy greens - they just don't get eaten, and I'm sick of growing beautiful lettuces just to have them end up on the compost heap, and as for rocket and mizuna, way will they eat that.

The best bits, from my point of view are the fruit trees - in ground and in pots, and the perennial fruiting shrubs. I gather from other peoples' comments and gardens that this is a pretty common obsession. Susan's collection is awesome. At present, there are bananas, pawpaws, a dwarf mulberry, two mandarins, an orange, a lemon, a dwarf avocado, a tropical peach, some pineapples, strawberries and a pepino in the ground; and five figs (can't have too many figs, all dwarf black genoa) a blueberry, another dwarf mulberry, another avocado (Wurtz), a loquat, a persimmon, and a mango in pots. There is also a Tropic Sun custard apple in a pot, hanging on to life by the skin of its teeth.

Plans for the future include putting in stuff like pigeon pea for mulch, since my biggest need is for plenty of organic material in the hungry McDowall soil, and we have pruned the few native trees left to within an inch of their lives in trying to supply mulch from on-site. I try not to bring in mulch from elsewhere, but I suspect I may have to resort to doing that as the area under gardens increases. Also, it will be good to try out some of the ideas I've seen on the BLF site, like Dave's mounds, and Susan's wicking pots on the fence.

Hmmmm This blogging is a bit addictive. Better stop now, but when I work out how to put photos in I'll probably add some.

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Comment by Andrew Cumberland on September 1, 2015 at 21:06

Nice first blog Barb!  I don't know about you, but the only soil I have is stuff that I bring in.  

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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.

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