Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

 

My little space in the world is host to over 20 fruit trees (most at infant age) and 5 garden beds, three of which are raised in ACQ timber and two in existing stoned beds. At the time of purchase the now current garden was literally a rainforest (picture below). I had over 20 trees necked which were mainly palms and brought in 15 cubic meters of dirt to level the area.

 

December 2010. I had just cut down about 10 trees so it was much worse.

 

Jan 13.

 

 

I have Radish, Chard, Carrots and Beetroot at the foreground with my bumper crop of Toolangi and Nicola Potatoes at the back. They have just started to flower after been planted mid august so they should be ready soon. Some of the plants have died which I have harvested.

 

This is the herb garden. Unfortunately it is a good 50m from my house so i'm always running out at night with a torch. Flat Leaf Parsley, Chives, Tarragon, Basil, Thyme, Dill and Chervil are there at the moment. Check out the beast Rosemary plant in the background. I have Mint and Oregano planted up near the house as they tend to take over. 

 Melon Patch. Charantais and Watermelon Mountain Sweet Yellow. There are 3 tiny watermelons that have been successfully pollinated.

 

Black Genoa Fig. 100+ on it at the moment, should ripen soon!

 

Pizza oven and pumpkin patch in background. I have Potimarron, Musque de Provence and Australian Butter.

 

My phantom lime tree, which sadly as the days roll on look and taste like a lemon!

The garden is organic and the only additive is the liquid from my worm farm. Everything is sown by seed and i go out of my way to source heirloom and organic seeds. My main drive is flavour. I got into this because i was sick of poor quality from the supermarkets. Even at the local markets i was still buying something up to a day old. I often go self sufficient for periods of time but i'm always striving to be completely self sufficient one day.

 

I'm interested in sustainability and in the future hope to move away and set up some form of carbon neutral farm.

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Comment by Andrew Cumberland on January 5, 2013 at 21:27

I make a greek style pasta which uses the zest of lemon.  It's pretty good if I do say so myself, and one of the few true vegetarian meals that I really like to both make and eat. 

Mate - that's a damn fine garden! Cute pizza oven.  Love the little flag signs as well.  Aww man.. it can't get a lot better than that. 

Comment by Craig Hogan on January 5, 2013 at 16:42
As you say I'll wait till they ripen before I get ahead of myself! They is a good 50 on board and I won't have any trouble using them just a shame if it does turn out to be a lemon as I could have had a lime tree in the ground for two years.
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on January 5, 2013 at 13:57

Wondering what to do with surplus Lemons? First get your surplus ;-) They can be made into Moroccan Preserved Lemon (rich, scrumptious and simple to do). If you favour juicing, Lemons weirdly, go wonderfully well with mixed fruit and vegetable juice. I wondered why I ended up with a dwarf Meyer (a 'Lots o' Lemons in the ground), a common (bush) Lemon and a Lemonade tree. Now I know, into the juice they will go.

Comment by Craig Hogan on January 5, 2013 at 13:32
Ha well I have a mandarin cumquat hybrid. I don't mind that it's lemon, just would have been good to know before I planted two other lemon trees. Now I don't have a lime tree!
Comment by Scarlett on January 5, 2013 at 11:55

lovely looking garden

that does look a lot like a lemon unfortunately :(  esp. the bump on the end of the fruit. you can usually tell by scratching the rind with a fingernail. bother!! oh well, at least it's not a cumquat

Comment by Craig Hogan on January 5, 2013 at 9:30
It's been a great tree considering it's only 2 years old. Was a gift and nothing more than a 30cm cutting. Got about 30 last season so it's going really well. I'm on 1120m2, the result of being in one of those bizare diamond shaped blocks at the end of a cal de sac.

The garden is pretty average at the moment. I've put a lot of work into it over the last month so it should start to look pretty good over the next month or two.
Comment by Lissa on January 5, 2013 at 6:30

That's a wonderful garden Craig :)

Wow, 100 fruit on your fig! I've never gotten more than a few at a time. You call it your "little space" but it looks bigger than a normal surburban block? Plenty of room for the pumpkins and melons to do their thing.

I just love that I can eat something out of my garden every day now. Gives me quite a warm feeling. I still have to go to the fruit shop about once a month but used to stock up weekly, so there's been improvement.

I'm trying to focus (warmer months) on the veg that grow well in our climate. Many of them were completely new to me a couple of years back so I'm gradually getting myself used to cooking with them. It's only when I cook for other people that I run into trouble lol. Like the Betel Leaf rolls I made recently that didn't even make it to the BBQ.

Comment by Shirley on January 4, 2013 at 15:54

Great Looking Garden :)

Comment by Craig Hogan on January 4, 2013 at 13:59
I believe you can be from a food point of view. Purely from a vegetable point of view I have gone 6 months without buying any before. If I didn't care about entertainment areas, the pool or an area for the kids to run about I could easily do it.
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on January 4, 2013 at 13:19

Excellent, Craig :-)

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