Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Thought I'd get a headstart as we go into holiday season and taking a rest over hopefully not a too hot summer. This month's Dec harvest:

  • 1.5kg zucchini
  • 435g yellow squash
  • 2 strawberries
  • 14 blueberries
  • 80g red bell-star peppers
  • 5 x large bunch of kale
  • 2 x bunches salad greens
  • herbs (parsley, chives, spring onions, rosemary)

Tromboncino flower! pretty!

A nice big pumpkin from last summer's vine. To be honest, probably should have pulled it out and sowed new seeds already but I didn't have the heart to - such a pretty vine. And don't have to mow to boot! Has self seeded elsewhere so I'm not concerned. Might sow more in Jan.

Zukes still going strong - with the SP, this has truely been the success for 2016! Best $2.50 ever spent... ! The yellow squash (only have one plant) is doing well now too. I don't seem to eat as much of it though. The zukes I eat grated raw in salad, not just lightly fried like the yellow squash. Though do love with garlic and butter, yum!

Blue hyssop! This used to be such a common medicinal plant and is great for attracting beneficial insects (so I'm told) so happy to have this flowering herb. This one is in the "back paddock", the side of the house that doesn't get much sun - I've got toms there that haven't turned red for months and are waiting to be ravaged by fruit fly...

Speaking of FF, had to take these ones off to ripen indoors - red bell peppers, a seedling I picked up at a GV. Such a delightful little shrub - it is the xmas tree outdoors for sure. Writing this I just realised I still hadn't tasted them (scared they'll be too hot!) but just nibbled a corner and tastes like capsicum! Hurrah! Being a chilli whimp, will be careful of the seeds lol. Actually they would be perfect on a bbq meat skewer... hmmm! Still no sign of fruit on the other regular chili though to be fair, I have literally never watered it. Speaking of which, I think the asparagus crown I plants never got any moisture and dried out... oops

This beauty!! Was an offcut from a store bought beetroot! See that discolouration line about 1-2cm from top? that was the original, placed in water to root for 1-2 wk then planted in wicking box :) Love the leaves in salads too. Am currently reusing this top (3rd Gen!), see how it goes ;)

Bountiful harvest :)

One of the zucchini plants is producing really fat and big ones really quickly. One was as thick as my fist (tapering off) and the yellow squash went a big giant too - that's what happens when you are sick for a week and don't harvest!

An early Christmas present, score! 2017 is going to be a good year :) Happy Gardening!

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Comment by Elaine de Saxe on December 21, 2016 at 10:50

Cucurbits always produce male flowers first. Seems daft but they've been doing it for hundreds of years so we're not going to change them now.

Comment by Sophie on December 21, 2016 at 8:41
That's hilarious, thanks for the info! Yeah, Mine is already over 3? Metres tall and is just one single stem with lots of white male flowers. Curious cuccuzzi! Exciting :)
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on December 21, 2016 at 8:12

Cuccuzzi is an Italian name for what we call 'New Guinea Bean'. Not only are they not from New Guinea but are not a bean, either. The fruits when small do look similar Tromboncino which I've also grown. The NG Bean can grow to a metre long in what seems like no time at all. And produce so many fruit even my dogs got fed up with eating them. The vine grew like a triffid, extending all of 20 meters along a wire fence.

There's not much to choose between the plants, might have to have them growing side by side to do a comparison. The NGBean fruits are bigger in diameter and are not so sweet when young. There really is very little difference. As well a lot of similar squash plants happily hybridize so it's not always possible to produce pure seeds. Thinking about it, Tromboncino has a distinct bulb on the end, the NGBeans do not (from memory anyway, it's been 30 years since I've grown NGBean).

Comment by Cathie MacLean on December 21, 2016 at 7:45
OMG.... A Google search for tromboncino with white flowers reveals ..... We are growing 'cuccuzi' edible squash !!!! Sorry Sophie, gave you seeds in good faith! I hope they taste good to you and we will have to grow the real deal next. Susan seems to have tremendous success with them.
Comment by Cathie MacLean on December 21, 2016 at 7:36
Sophie, thanks for posting the tromby flower pic.... I realised when Susan blogged about her tromby recently that her flowers are yellow and look just like zucchini flowers. What's going on here? What are we growing then? I bought the plants that provided these seeds from a lady a Ferny Grove markets, labelled tromboncino and they did grow the long squash with the slightly bulbous end, slightly denser-than-zucchini mild flavoured flesh. Curiouser and curiouser. I have lots of male flowers, no female yet. Cool beetroot trick BTW!
Comment by Rob Collings on December 20, 2016 at 17:46

Awesome garden output again Sophie, love the never ending beetroot manoeuvre.

Comment by Sophie on December 20, 2016 at 11:25

Hehe, good luck. Also did the beetroot thing with silverbeet and celery - has worked well! merry xmas

Comment by Christa on December 20, 2016 at 10:06

Looking good Sophie, I can't believe what you managed to do with the beetroot top. Great looking Chrissy presents.  I keep mentioning Bunnies voucher to the clan, so here's hoping.

Comment by Sophie on December 20, 2016 at 9:55

Thanks Dianne, that's great :) My dad knows me well! 
Yes, Susan, it's a big fat yellow tomato haha I think it's a black russian that never turned black (lives in the shade).. !

Comment by Dianne Caswell on December 20, 2016 at 6:46

Enjoy your Christmas Presents, nothing cuts through clay like a smooth Stainless Steel Shovel, but make sure you keep it lovely and clean and oil the timber handle with Linseed Oil. You have a good brand of Secateurs Felco's, I have one pair here that I have had for over 30 years. Did you know that you can replace every little bit of them, right down to the Red Sleeves on the Handles. 

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