Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Today's weekly harvest from the garden.  After being away for a week, I was champing at the bit to get back into my garden.  Watering needed to be done and I needed to do some general maintenance tasks and pick stuff.  This is by no means everything we eat from the garden in a week, usually I'll run out and grab a zucchini, spinach or celery stick as needed but I find that once a week, I really need to do the stuff that takes a bit of time - ie harvesting beans can be quite time consuming.  The wicking beds work really well for that as I am a firm believer in multi-tasking - I can be watering and harvesting at the same time :)  We are not buying anything from the brassica family at all! I have cauliflowers (about 1 every 2-3 weeks), broccoli (weekly) and cabbage (monthly). 

More eggplant than you can imagine - this is all from 1 listada de gandia plant (the four in the harvest photo were cut off BEFORE this photo was taken).  Can't recommend this variety enough! It is so pretty and vigorous.  After listening to Sabrina Hann on Perth talkback who said that if you have a good eggplant, you can leave it in the ground for up to 3 years, mine is staying put.  It has taken me YEARS to find an eggplant that I like.  Not only that, but I have started experimenting with some eggplant recipes and have found that eggplant baked with lemon juice is DIVINE!

Speaking of lemons, while I was on holidays in the country, my brother has all these wild bush lemons coming up all over his cattle property - he usually slashes over them with his tractor and just keeps one or two closer to the house.  I used to eat them all the time as a kid - they are slightly sweeter than a lemon and are just beautiful.  I conned him into digging me up one.  Don't know how it will go though - it had a MASSIVE tap root that we had to cut off but it was the smallest one I could find amongst the waist high grass he had growing.  I have planted it in my *extended* backyard :)

I've now harvested four beautiful strawberries from my Daley's strawberries and they are delicious.  I have 2 varieties - Redlands joy and Sugarbaby.  Some plants are doing better than others but hopefully the slow ones will catch up.  In total, I have 17 plants (I lost 3).

I have raspberries????  What the?  About 2 years ago, I planted williamette and heritage raspberries and a young berry down the side garden.  After the first year, never got fruit off them again so pulled just about everything out and left what I thought was only the young berry because it occasionally got fruit.  Low and behold, I saw these today.  Obviously I missed one and it has decided to fruit.  I'm going to assume it is a williamette as they are definitely growing from  the side shoots of an old and crusty cane - floricanes - but from what I've read, it is NOT the season for them.  They seem to like their position so I'm going to keep them there - get rid of the young berry and hope for the best :)  There are about 4 clusters this size off one cane.

All I am buying from the shops at the moment for a family of 5 are mandarins, apples, oranges, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, mushrooms and the occasional onion.  Everything else is from the garden.  Fruit wise, we have pawpaws and soon oranges.  My bunches of bananas should be due to harvest within the month.  I'm getting the Diggers Melon variety pack so come September, I'm going nuts with the melons.  Carrots, I've had a real problem getting to germinate.  I've just bought a new bunch of seeds (Mr F topweight improved) so hope for some more success soon.  Planning a sweet potato bed in my *extended* backyard (next to the escaped pumpkin vine and bush lemon).   And the onion/garlic bed with potato onions from Yelweck farms and elephant garlic is looking great, so hopefully won't need to buy the few onions that I can't substitute spring onions for anymore.

 

We are still eating pumpkin from my pumpkin vine in Feb -  I have 1 left in the cupboard and 1/2 one in the fridge.  Tomatoes are coming along despite a spider mite problem - I've sprayed with sulfer and hope it will solve the problem.  Beans, peas, Brassica's, spinach, spring onion, celery, herbs, lettuces, eggplant, beetroot and zucchini are all fresh.   

Lastly, my roses that I planted 6 (?) weeks ago have been confused by all this warm weather.  I have my first beautiful rose from my bare rooted roses. 

That's it from me guys.  I'm having a garden visit in August so am working to have the garden in peak condition (fingers crossed) for everyone to look at.  Happy gardening people.

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Comment by Rob Walter on July 14, 2015 at 8:11

Thanks Susan. That looks a lot like the ones I have grown in the past. I was just interested whether you were having a lot more success.

Comment by Susan on July 13, 2015 at 18:50

Here it is Rob - not very dense at all :(  BUT flavor was fantastic and the leaves were perfectly umblemished (you know how when you buy cabbage, you end up having to throw out heaps because of moldy discoloured bits.)  I have heaps of lettuce/rocket/spinach.  I'm off salads at the moment (too cold) but like you Lissa, will eat them in sandwiches esp toasted.  I gave up on the Kaileen express broccoli - I found it didn't give very much "broccoli" for the space/time/effort required.  Roger, my garden faces West and I cut down a LOT of trees that were in my yard .  I do get a bit of shading in two of the beds but the angle allows for a big square bed that is usually in mostly shade in summer to be full sun in winter so, win some/lose some.

Comment by Lissa on July 13, 2015 at 14:13

I must admit I'm eating lettuce in large quantities daily (or almost) at the moment with so much of it out there - mostly on sandwiches where I have a thick layer of lettuces both red and green and rocket.

Made a huge salad with smoked salmon last night and goodness it was yummy. I'm thrilled that most of the salad came out of my garden apart from the toms, avo and olives.

Definitely not the normal time to be eating salad but what the heck, still tastes good.

Comment by Rob Walter on July 13, 2015 at 8:24

Gorgeous! I'd love to see a cross-section of a cabbage, just to see how dense they are, if you can be bothered.

Roger, I agree about the slowness of growth, especially with things like beans, which grow in all seasons, so you can directly compare. Coriander would be my other nomination for growing in the wrong season - South-east Asian food is perfect in summer.

Comment by Lissa on July 13, 2015 at 6:44

You have so many plants producing :D

My eggplant never produce for me in winter. Micro climate perhaps? I must get some more Listada di Gandia in, they really are the best. No sign of any cauli for me yet, just some of the broccoli forming up.

Comment by Dave Riley on July 10, 2015 at 21:25

I get envious. The only brassica I can grow is Kailaan/Chinese Broccoli. Berries are a no go. So far  anyway. And root veg is a constant angst.

But greens...easy peasy. And my dear old friend, Warrigal Green, has come up all over.

I see other peep's produce and sometimes wonder if I'm living on another continent rather than in the same region...But then each year the options change.

What's the broad flattish bean/pea at the bottom of the top photo?

Comment by Roger Clark on July 10, 2015 at 20:25

Susan,

You are growing a good range of veges. I too have grown the Listada ...... eggplant this year for the first time and I agree with you, it is a great producer and has regenerated about 3 times so far over a 6month period. it just keeps on going and producing fruit. I also had quite a few black type eggplants come up from compost, but while they have produced well, they are now looking very sad, while the Listada has gone from strength to strength. One very frustrating facet of growing lettuce is that now it seems to be very easy to grow, just when I don't really feel like eating it, while in summer, when you want to eat it, it bolts to seed. I can't think of another vege which is so inappropriate in it's timing of good production. Mid winter food production can be easy but at the same time very frustrating as everything seems to grow so slowly. Although in my garden this slow growth is only made worse by the fact that too many large bush trees mean that the garden is in the shade too much. You must have your qarden oriented very well to get such good produce.  

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