Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Hi everyone, apologies have been really slack with blogposts. I might try to do a virtual GV soon. Hope you are all well !

In the meantime, here is a small snap of the potager. Notice the chook coop next to the pumpkin patch on the right!

Made the most of the long weekend to do lots of gardening! Hacked back the cassava to let in more sunshine (was using for shelter over the summer). The patch is getting sneakily bigger and bigger with every week.


Bananas and mother of herb love living together.

This lebanese eggplant bush is going gang busters! It's only 55cm tall!!!!

Kent pumpkins going wild in the patch. Had 14+ growing but 4 so far taken by possums!!

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Comment by Sophie on May 7, 2020 at 9:26

Doug, re cassava yield - probably depends how long you leave them in for? I've been a bit slack keeping track. probably get a couple of kilos per 60cm square? probably depends how you look after them. 

Comment by Sophie on May 7, 2020 at 9:22

The difference the chook poo has made to our compost is astronomical! Our compost (just the lazy kitchen scraps one) never really heated up enough but now, it's amazing. Yes, I thought about that with light yesterday, thanks for the tip - I've removed some of the covering to leave them more light. I reckon I'd be keen for some quails Andy if you can spare any of the babies ;) Have fun with your poultry rearing Doug :)

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on May 6, 2020 at 23:16

If you provided extra light (by moving them inside or something) they'd probably start to lay.  I don't do it because winter is when the girls get a nice break.  I reckon let them enjoy the Sophie and Franc health spar for a little while. You may not be getting eggs, but remember - they are pooing.  Compost here you come! 

Comment by Doug Hanning on May 6, 2020 at 18:05

Ive had new chooks take longer to lay as it starts to get shorter day lengths. If it was spring they would probably be laying.  We had one of our rhode island reds kick the bucket on the weekend and we have 4 more old girls that I am not allowed to move on, so I have to wait it out. I wont be replacing them, the quail give us 17eggs a day on average. When the chooks go I will get a few more ducks as they are good workers in the orchard, maybe a drake as well so I can incubate some ducks between quail batches. I have been tossing up about growing cassava, what sort of crop do you get per square metre?

Comment by Sophie on May 6, 2020 at 15:51

Thanks Christa for the tips, yes doing all that - even give them mealworm treats & they do seem to get on fine together. They are on an autofeeder and go through it well. Patience...?

Comment by Christa on May 6, 2020 at 12:02

Sohie. chickens can be very temperamental creatures.  Sometimes they don't like each other. 

Do you give them laying mash or scraps. If you feed them mash, give them a measured amount and see how long they take to eat it. They may need more. Shell grit for their gizzard and for egg production. Check for mites that can stop them from laying.  I am sure you know all this.  I miss my girls (Dolly and Marylin) that I had many years ago.  

Comment by Sophie on May 6, 2020 at 8:40

Hi Christa :) I have a golden laced wyandotte & the grey, copper collared araucana. Both were meant to have started laying already but no avail! If anyone has any tips? I have harvested the cassava roots in the past. Not bad but a bit fiddly so really more strip the leaves as mulch & cut back when getting in the way :) So far the roots haven't been as invasive as sweet potato and this is in the annual garden so not the end of the world if I have to dig it all up. It's a surburban block but even still I've found separating the annuals here and the perennials into zone 2 has really made it loads more managable with water etc. I have loads of seedlings ready for planting (that pic of the seedling is a little old) so will need to move the chicken tractor for some new beds! Undercover! 

Comment by Christa on May 5, 2020 at 17:27

Looks like you have been busy Sophie, you seem to have much more growing now.  Do you eat the cassava or just chop and drop it. 

Is that one of those french chickens Sophie.  Keep up the good work.

Comment by Sophie on May 5, 2020 at 16:08

A few more pics added. Not shown - "zone 2/orchards" ;)

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on May 5, 2020 at 15:48

It is getting bigger.  Nice work. 

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GrowVetiver

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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