Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Hi everyone - well this is just going to be a quick one from me this week.  I finally decided that my wicking bed tomatoes, that had been producing faithfully since about March, needed to go.  The rest of the bed was empty as the tomatoes had been allowed to ramble and while still very productive, I needed the space.  Unfortunately, when I pulled them up, I saw a nasty case of root knot nematode - the first case in my wicking beds.  This makes sense for this bed as I did use some of my garden soil.  I decided to go ahead and try a green manure crop (Mr Fothergills mix) and marigolds.  All the seeds are watered in and I've marked them down for a mid December turnover, ready to be planted in January - just in time for a nice brassicae crop. 


The rest of this will be a day by day harvest guide and what I'm doing with it.  So Thursday afternoons trip to the garden yielded beetroot, peas, beans, corn, a couple of carrots and lettuces.  The lettuces went into the crisper for use in salads this week - I do a lettuce harvest 2-3 times per week as I'm too lazy/busy to go down there every morning and I like it when my lettuces have been chilled so they crisp up.  That night, we had roast chicken for dinner with roasted carrots, beetroot & Potato and steamed corn, beans and peas. 

Friday yielded a nice little fruit harvest.  One of the random peaches that bloomed early in the hot spell in winter plus mulberries and strawberries.  Now I might, just might, have eaten a few before I got the camera out to take the photo :)  My kids saw the harvest and wanted to hoe in but so that we all got a nice taste, I decided to turn it into a smoothie.  Just berries, milk, ice, sugar and vanilla.  I don't even remove stems - quick, tasty and super healthy and the kids love it.

On a Saturday, I like to get out there nice and early and do a big harvest of tomatoes as they take me forever to pick , fill up the wicking beds at the same time and do any planting/maintenance work.  What is it about the weekend that I LOVE getting up at 5.30 am but on a workday, I groan when my alarm goes off at 6 am??  So I was out there until about 10 am and planted carrots, beetroot, spring onions, celery, capsicums and eggplants, removed all my compost into a large container so I could get the next lot started (those chooks turn a heap over ultra fast), pulled out previously mentioned tomatoes, dug up that bed and added green manure seeds and marigolds, and did a general weed/harvest/watering/clean the chook pen.  This doesn't sound like it could take nearly 5 hrs but it did :) About 2 kgs of cherry toms here.  Saturday nights dinner was sheppards pie using tomatoes, celery, spinach, zucchini and carrots from the garden and on Sunday night, I went back to the garden and got some carrots and spinach and with zucchinis, tomatoes and eggs from our chookies, made Quiche for dinner.  The other Zucchinis from this weeks harvests, I turned into chocolate zucchini cake which my kids LOVE.  (sorry no pictures)

 Finally, today's harvest.  It was my husbands birthday today so we had seafood and I made a corn, tomato, cucumber, spring onion salad with lemon juice & coriander dressing (all from our garden). 

For his birthday cake, I made pavlova topped with fruits from our garden.  Delicious. 

Last thing (I know I said this would be a quick one, but I just can't help myself), my hippeastrums have finally stopped sulking and are gracing me with their gorgeous display.  Sorry, it's a night time photo, but the whole path is lined in these beautiful blooms.


Well that's it from me for another two weeks.  Enjoy your gardening time while it's still cool enough to do so and lets hope that some decent rain comes out of these predicted storms.  So far, we've had nothing and "I'm not happy Jan" :(


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Comment by Lissa on October 15, 2014 at 17:27

After your earlier warnings about FF damaging your fruit I made sure I covered these early in the piece. It's a mosquito net. Not a perfect fit but it's staying put and hopefully will do the job. Time will tell!

Comment by Susan on October 15, 2014 at 16:43
Thanks everyone :) I am very proud of myself at the moment - converting to wicking beds has been the best thing Ive done in terms of productivity and lower maintenance. Lissa, have you covered your nectarines? I have always lost most of my crops to fruit fly. This year is looking hopeful, now that I've covered it from head to toe in netting
Comment by Andrew Cumberland on October 14, 2014 at 20:22

I'm very impressed Susan.  I think I need to shut the hell up about my meagre harvests!  LOL. Wow. 

Comment by Florence on October 14, 2014 at 17:57

You're doing so well with your garden Susan!  It's very easy to spend 5 hours in the garden if I'm allowed to :P

Comment by Dave Riley on October 14, 2014 at 5:26

Inspiring images...and it rained over night! 

Comment by Lissa on October 14, 2014 at 4:54

Wonderful blog Susan :) What a terrific crop you are getting from your little backyard, just goes to show! Love the pic of the salad all from your own garden. So satisfying.

My Pink Shatoot Mulberries are giving me some to eat each day. Delicious and sweet. But the Dwf Black fruit are tiny and few and far between. If the plant doesn't pick up it will be removed and replaced with something more productive. Threats sometimes work.

My tropical Nectarine is covered with it's first crop of fruit. All a lovely blush colour already. I thought they wouldn't colour up until closer to being ripe but they seem to do it through the whole growing period.

I've replanted two of the beds with summer crop...corn, cucumber, snake beans, edamame, radish, rat tailed radish, rocket and a heap of other stuff. I've bought some seed for Collard Greens in the hope of having some grow all year round, both for me and the snails who love their brassicas better than anything.

Comment by Henry on October 13, 2014 at 21:39
Wow!! All of this is looks fantastic and is certainley inspiring love your work and hopefully when i start 1 day theyll be as nice as these :)
Comment by Susanne on October 13, 2014 at 21:30
Thank-you for such a great post,
All of it looks fabulous.
So jealous of your crops....
Makes me realise that I need to be more structured and organised and plant regularly not just in fits and starts.

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