Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Hi guys.  The heat is coming… Well it should be :)...Soon I hope!  I have started to prepare for the onslaught.  First thing is that I FINALLY have a net over my peach tree BEFORE the fruit fly hit it.  I know I said I was going to make a net but procrastination set in and I found one on Diggers for around $60 and as they had some seeds I wanted to try, I thought I might as well bite the bullet and become a member and get a whole bunch of stuff at the same time.  

I ordered Rattlesnake beans and Bloomsdale spinach (supposedly slow to bolt) and ended up with a bunch of free tomato seeds - Artisan mix and Heirloom mix, as well as some free flower seeds - cottage mix and poppy's.  Not a bad deal.  I've planted 1/2 each of the tom seeds and have ripped out my herb garden for the flowers(don't worry, it is now an edging around the strawberry patch) and am taking the rest up to my mum's who has acreage and the space to try them all for me and let me know what's good.   

The spinach has gone in with my heritage raspberries in a newly created wicking barrel (Robbob style).  I have placed this down the side of the house for now where I'm hoping the tank will keep it a bit cooler and the Raspberries will shade them enough to give me spinach through summer.  I have grown silverbeet before but really, it just does not compare to real spinach as far as I'm concerned so am hoping I can get round it's short growing season this way.  My potatoes in the side wicking bed have been mounded up and blocked off from the chooks/dog so hoping to get a good harvest out of those in a couple of months.

 

Choko is doing great.  I'm hoping it will be large enough before the heat of summer to completely cover the chook house to give my ladies some extra shade.  We are getting about 15 eggs per week and since Penny started laying (my green laying superstar; australorp x araucana) , she has only had one day off (I think she is now up to 20 days straight).  Well done to her :).  I have updated the chooks water supply to nipple drippers now.  So convenient!!  They took to it straight away and I don't need to clean their water cups out every second day like I used to.  Between the dripper and the feeder, they are the lowest maintenance pets we have. 

 As I was writing this,  I heard the egg song.  As all my layers had already laid today, I ran out.  Mimi, my splash araucana was proudly announcing to the world she had laid AND squatted for me when I approached (never done that before) but stuffed if I know where that egg is (or even if one exists - she's probably messing with me).  Vicky and Minty occasionally lay in odd places if they are out free ranging - even the odd one on the chicken run floor but Penny is a trooper and ALWAYS lays in the box.  She's the black one above.

 

Well back to it.  The mulberry tree has lovely fruit on it and in preparation for summer, I have mulched the fruit tree bed.  AGAIN!! This time I have fenced it off from the chooks as they are very good at scratching it all out.  I also laid a dripper hose underneath and am going to water the fruit trees well about once per week/fortnight depending on need. 

 Into the wicking beds have gone 2 x zucchini, 4 x cucumber, 2 x moon & stars watermelon, 4 x charentais rockmelon & the rattlesnake beans.  I know I need to add twine to the tee-pee but can't find it right now.   Asparagus is doing quite nicely.  I'm getting about 10 spears a week which is enough for a feed.

 

Harvested about 6 Zucchini's, 3 cucumbers, 5 tiny heads of broccoli, this lovely cauliflower, lots of spinach & lettuce, 3 beetroots, 5 carrots, the usual tomatoes and some peas.  In terms of vegetables, have only bought potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans & mushrooms this week (I have a family of 5 to feed). I'm not impressed with the peas this year.   They get to about waist high (like these are) and then seem to stop growing.  It is very annoying especially as last year, I had too small of a trellis and they grew up and I lost a lot of the crop to wind damage.  Now I have a super, 2.5 m high trellis and the bloody things won't grow all the way up. 

 Anyway,  that's it from me again.  Over the next few weeks, I'm hoping to convert the other 5 blue 1/2 barrels into wicking barrels for sweet potato and my native raspberries.  I'm also hoping to get some rosella's started in one.  I want to attempt to make rosella jam just like my grandma (the maker) and granddad (the grower) used to when I was little.  My granddad has been gone for about 10 years now and my grandma has dementia so doesn't remember us and it's my way of remembering the way they used to be.  If anyone can suggest where I can source some planting material, it would be appreciated.  I've tried Bunnings, they don't have any in yet and can't tell me when they will get some.       

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Comment by Susan on September 10, 2014 at 18:12

Fabulous Jane - thanks so much. 

Comment by Jane on September 9, 2014 at 18:25

I have Rosella seeds Susan that you could have, would post them if you message me your address.

Comment by Florence on September 8, 2014 at 12:46

The rosella is not difficult to grow from seeds, we grew heps one year and a lot of fruits rotted before I got around to process them ^^ although I gave some away to a collegue and he returned a jar of jam to me :) ... will see if I still have any seeds... If you can find a warm spot, it's perennial, so you might not have to wait as long for fruits the second year...

Choko shoots (really young ones before they become stringy) makes good cooked greens too

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on September 7, 2014 at 22:08

You really are nailing it Susan. That's great going.  I put purple carrots in my wicking bed today and some perpetual corriander I found into the aquaponics bed.  Got about 10 tiny turnips (it was time for them to go) and my grandson ate a heap of cherry tomatoes. 

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on September 7, 2014 at 17:10

The garden really is coming along! Rosellas - seeds I suppose apart from the seedlings from nursery/hardware. Pohlmann's do them every year, just wait until they come in. They are well advanced and worth the wait. They take all summer to grow before they fruit.

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