Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Hello everyone.

Well, I am currently very annoyed at my employment at the moment.  I have so much work to do at home that it seriously eats into my gardening time.  Anyone who thinks teaching is a bludge should try it for a while (I used to be one of those people - seriously 12 weeks leave a year - "how hard could it be?" , I used to think).  I have never been so overworked in my LIFE!!! Okay,  after that little rant I'll get down to business.

My first Paw Paw.  These are from seeds from my mum's pawpaw tree.  Look at the rest of them developing!  We love paw paw in this house, smoothies, with cream, with ice cream -> great dessert fruit.  On the far right is a red papaya that I planted from a really nice papaya I bought from the markets.  Hope it is true to type.  It means that my fruit bill will be less -> I was spending up to $5 a week on paw paw's.

I'm just going to skite a little.  This is what my fruit bowl looked like today.

Lemons (still 1 per week -> just the right amount), whole bunch of passionfruit, my 1 of 3 toadskin melons, banana's (first hand) and the pawpaw.  All from my garden!  I can't express the satisfaction that this picture gives me.  Mind you, we are almost at the last of the pashies and there are only 2 more melons but at least I won't have to buy fruit this week.

Banana's are going strong.  I've had two of the ducasse's send up flowers in the past 2 weeks and my goldfinger hand is being harvested. It has produced over 90 bananas on one bunch.  My ducasse's are not that impressive.  I counted them yesterday and there is only about 30 banana's on the bunch. 

The only other things with fruit at the moment are citrus -> lemons (harvesting), mandarins, oranges and cumquats.  Still months off the harvesting the last 3 but they are going quite strong for young trees

So... notice that I have been focusing on the fruit.  You know, the stuff that doesn't take a lot of time and attention.  Bloody work!!!  There are, however, some things that I have managed to get done vegetable wise. 

Pumpkins -> AMAZING.  Harvested a 5 kg whopper last week and have 5 more. 

This brings the vines total to 7 pumpkins, so not bad I think.  (Woolies prices $3.00 per kilo x 5 = $15 this baby would have cost me).  Cucumbers are going strong despite their weak start.  3-4 per week off  the old vine and the new vine has 3 fertilised fruit despite only being small.  Snake beans are flowering but the yellow beans died.  NEVER AGAIN am I planting Kaileen express broccoli.  This is the second time and I covered it but the "broccoli" is almost non-existent.  Not worth the effort or space.  Lettuces are unfortunately getting hammered by grasshoppers and zucchini's are going sh*t.  Can't get them to set fruit.  Corn is going great especially since I did research and discovered they need a lot of nitrogen.  So bought a 46-0-0 to compliment the neutrog fertiliser.  Eggplants are doing fine but only so much eggplant I can stomach.  Very disappointed with the tomatoes.  I had bought a four cell pack of diggers heritage (yellow pear, yellow round, red pear, red round -> don't ask me for their actual names).  The Yellow's are the only ones doing well but the fruit SPLIT!! They are in a wicking bed for crying out loud with constant moisture.  The only time I do manage to get fruit is at the end of the week when the bed has dried out almost completely.

I'm currently getting the beds ready for winter stuff.  I've added the coco peat to 3 beds so far and also my front flower garden.  The moisture retention in the flower bed has definitely improved.

Need to get the rest done as soon as I can.  The other thing that I have managed to do is take rose cuttings.  My rose garden was not doing so well.  After years of neglect, some were on their last legs with the root stock having taken over.  With all the rain, I pulled the worst out and took cuttings of their grafts. Some, I know have worked already (these are 1 week old), others, we are still waiting.  I swear I will look after them this time :)  I also have some roses I want to order.  Dolly parton (beautiful flower and fragrance -> they're in new farm park - go smell them) and limbo (unusual lime green rose).

Well that's it guys.  Hopefully next time, I'll be able to show off something more vegetable wise.  Happy gardening.  BTW there is the ipswich plant expo tomorrow... I'm going :)

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Comment by Roger Clark on March 14, 2015 at 8:55

I can understand that you have had trouble growing some things. I never try to grow much above ground in the summer. Too many pests, and diseases at this time. Try growing broccoli, zucchini, and tomatoes in Spring and Autumn. Even in winter if you have a full sun spot to use. I only grew sweet corn, eggplant, sweet potato, yam, cassava, ginger, and turmeric this summer. All like the heat. There are a few more things that will grow if you have the water to spare. E.g. snake beans. I am now planting cabbages, broccoli, carrots, beetroot, cauliflower, etc. 

Comment by Dianne Caswell on March 7, 2015 at 16:48

Oh, You lucky, lucky girl, to have seen, bought and admired so much. Maybe we can organize an outing to the next Brissy Expo, I would have to take my walker though so would have to check the accessibility issue. Did you by any chance get the name of the outdoor sink guy as we will be looking for one soon. Have fun with your planting.  

Comment by Susan on March 7, 2015 at 16:29

Thanks guys.  Elaine, I've never had my standard grape ones split so I think I'll just stick with them forever -> wanted some variety but def not worth it. I'll definitely grab some seeds Lissa.  Dianne, at the expo, I got a souey tung lychee.  Mine don't crop until after christmas and these are the earliest cropping variety so hopefully will have lychees ripe for Christmas day.  I also got a 1 m high Jaboticaba.  I was going to get the grafted tree from Daley's but my lack of patience got the better of me today and I impulse bought.  :)  There was some beautiful hand crafted furniture and another stand selling outdoor sinks that I would have loved to purchase but you know, that thing called money is a bit scarce.  I got to see Costa Georgiadis and Annette McFarlane.  Ate some good food and best of all - no kids to nag me :)

Comment by Dianne Caswell on March 7, 2015 at 14:47

Oh, What beautiful Paw Paws, I am envious. We have 2 visitor plants in our garden don't know yet what kind of Paw Paw they are but time will tell. You have a wonderful fruit haul. I love my fruit. Looks like you will have good Bananas soon as well. Hope you enjoyed the Expo, would have gone but my driver had to work. Let us know how it went and if you bought anything different......

Comment by Dave Riley on March 7, 2015 at 8:00

Look at dem papaws!

Comment by Lissa on March 7, 2015 at 5:20

Well worth skiteing about! :) Doesn't it make you feel good looking at a home grown haul like that. Well done.

Is there anyone who grows good toms here in summer? There was one member who was always posting pics of her toms but she went quiet some time back.

We'll have to get you some seed from Janet's A Choy - lettuce substitute. Mine is just beginning to go to flower. I consider it the most important plant in my garden when it comes to actual usefulness.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on March 6, 2015 at 22:33

Doing fantastically well Susan! Love those citrus. Splitting Toms are supposed to be uneven moisture. Even in a wicking bed you get that a bit. The top few inches need to dry out to get oxygen into the soil. And with all that rain even though the beds don't flood, there's more saturated soil than usual. Toms are very fussy about their water.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on March 6, 2015 at 22:26

I am gunna officially doff my hat in your direction Susan.  Impressive results. 

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