Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Spring has sprung, the grass is riz, I wonder where the pale-headed-rosella is

Family life and food gardening: sometimes they're incredibly complementary, sometimes they compete for every available scrap of your time. Recently it's mostly been the competitive scenario - hence the lack of computer activity on my part.


I haven't done much in the garden either. For example my pond is still not in - we haven't even dug the hole!


I noticed today that my beautiful spuds are attracting a fair number of 28 spot ladybeetle (the only herbivorous one, i.e. that's bad). I collected as many as I could see (they're easy to pick off), and as I couldn't bring myself to squish them I left them to drown in the pond...I'm not sure which is worse really. Apparently drowning is rather nice and peaceful, everything goes white... anyway that was how I helped myself feel better about it...! I felt about under the potatoes the other day and there is some decent action. I haven't bandicooted any yet, but soon...

I bought some seedlings today: food for the soul and the beasties this time, i.e. mostly flowers. I bought Coreopsis (self seeding), Stachys (attracts bees,pretty, use for cut flowers), lavender (for the top of my mini planter, or maybe in morning sun on my steep sloping bed), a Helconia (for the shady side, for cut flowers), and various seeds. I scattered yarrow and california poppy too - fingers crossed. It looks like my calendula from last year have come up, my self seeded cosmos are flowering again, and I have a lot of marigold seedlings on the way. I do like the flowers to look after themselves, wildflower style. I also have Ageratum pleasing itself (no surprise, it's basically a weed!).

I also bought Stachys byzantina (or lanata) = lamb's ears (a drought tolerant ground cover), great for avoiding weeding, and has a beautiful soft texture and blue grey foliage.

We're getting beetroot, carrot, pak choy, peas, snow peas, broccoli sprouts, coriander, lots of lettuce (we harvested a giant cos lettuce the other day and made the best Caesar salad with coddled egg anchovy dressing - seriously DELICIOUS!!), my rocket has all bolted with this weather, most disappointing.


The Brussel sprouts are disappointing, I think I will give up on them after this. My fennel is powering along, I think I will buy some verjuice for Maggie Beer's braised fennel in verjuice, which I made once before and wish to eat again! My asparagus has mostly survived, the water chestnuts have sprouted well, the persimmon has new leaves, we've not had a strawberrry yet! Our lemons were lovely, one to go, we're still eating beefheart tomatoes, the broad beans are flowering, the bush beans are disappointing but providing a trickle of beans, the new zucchini plant has three babies on it, and the yellow squashes have appeared as well. No sign of cucumbers yet. I spoke too soon on the celery, it is disappointingly thin so far. No parsnips. I think we have radishes - not sure, can't see any underground action. The horseradish is sprouting vigorously - mm, I love horseradish. I've planted climbing beans and will put a trellis up. The silverbeet is thickening up nicely. Some sort of cucurbit has sprouted from the worm castings - along with flickweed! grrr - and looks like it might actually grow. Mysterious. My kids are getting excited about corn with this hot weather.

The yacon hasn't appeared. I have a few wheat heads - I scattered some wheat seeds. My bamboo is progressing well. The sweet potato is going extremely well considering I planted them into very poor soil without any additives!

My broccoli and cauliflower are all disappointingly small. Soil deficiency? Seedling problems? Temperature? Not sure.

I bought several hay bales ($9 each, sugar cane, I put them on my roof racks) and mulched things. My pawpaws still look sick. I hope they come good if we get some rain. They have several scale etc insects, but nothing I can see that would be devastating them. I still back general stress, but I'm not sure...

My peppers have started going red which is funny cos it's the same bush and it's always stayed yellow before! Chicory is back, parsley is gung ho, my mint is very happy, we still have basil, the dill is not up to much this year but it's there, we have many onions, leek and garlic on the way.

Everything looks happy - I think August and September are my favourite garden months.

Happy Spring everyone :)
SJP

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Comment by Donna on September 10, 2009 at 9:57
Sounds like a great variety of food! Know what you mean about squishing bugs, I collected them in a jar and then they got flushed down the toilet for a 'fun ride'...

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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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