Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Reading others' blogs and posts made me feel really slack! Apart from maintenance, I haven't put in new seedlings or seeds (excepting beans) - but am still enjoying the fruits of my previous labours! The heaviest croppers are tomatoes:

I harvest this amount every 2 or 3 days! The vines are starting to look a bit naked as my dad picks all the dead leaves off, but still bearing well.

I intend to leave 3 plants and pull out the rest, leaving the ground clear for new plantings (after digging in compost, of course!). In the "greens" department, we are still eating well, with tatsoi, wongbok and kale providiing the main components of stirfrys. I notice this year that the bugs have been leaving the leafy greens alone - maybe the nasturtium growing lushly amongst them has helped!

Kangkong has continued to grow in the planter boxes, loved the rain!

I get a handful of snowpeas every 2 days, a welcome addition to the dinner table, I'll have to plant some more, perhaps in the part vacated by tomatoes...

Choko production is slowing down, but still going. We've enjoyed them in soups and casseroles, or steamed and baked, also pickles from the spares -

Salad greens are still in abundance, baby lettuces - I forgot to label the seeds when I saved them, so it was random sowing wherever there was a spare bit of dirt, under the snowpeas, amongst the onions... rocket is going to seed, I really have to sow another patch, as I do love rocket in everything!

Mustard greens are also getting mature, and really hot!

Celery is coming on, and have been thrown into salads, soups and casseroles - the stems are still skinny and leafy, but taste good. I planted 2 rows of Purple King beans next to the celery, a few seedlings have just started to appear, and hopefully they'll climb onto the nice "frame" I've made with stakes and string!

My Asian herbs have survived the cold and rain quite well, I'm especially proud of the pandan plant, which has thrown out a few babies, also the laksa leaf (Vietnamese mint) crawling amongst the kale and mustard greens.

Can't wait for the broccoli to mature, but no signs of cauliflowers yet, although the plants are big and healthy.

Not much variety with fruit offerings - just custard apples and custard apples - we pick at least a dozen a week, sweet as honey, and some quite large, nearly a kilo! The self propagated strawberry from last year's effort is valiantly trying to fruit...

My experimental potatoes (supermarket ones) have come up quite well, even with no direct sun! And the taro (yam?) I put in a polystyrene box have sprouted!

Okay, now for the sad news - our heavy bearing pawpaw tree has been a casualty of the recent wet weather - the leaves all died, and we had to pick the green pawpaws - over 20 of them. I have a very nice pawpaw curry recipe if anyone is interested - and pawpaw pickles, and pawpaw chutney!

No success with carrots yet - sigh - and the silverbeet has steadily gone downhill after its initial spurt of growth, the stems are grayish and brittle, almost like frost bitten. And my "lots a lemons" dwarf looks miserable, no new flowers. We harvested 5 huge fruit, now nothing - will have to nurse it back to health with fertilisers, compost etc.
The rosellas are spent, and have been dug out. Next week will be a busy time, preparing for early Spring plantings!

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Comment by Scarlett on July 17, 2009 at 16:05
beautiful, wow
heaps of tomatoes! (I think I'll have another roma phase.)
You've completely distracted me, I was just about to put another blog up :)
Comment by Addy on July 15, 2009 at 16:12
Yes, I think that woven thing is used to winnow seeds and grains, can't remember where I got them, have had them forever! As for the wombok, they haven't "hearted" yet, but I have great hopes they will1 I think you have to tie around the plant...? last year, after I cut off the top, leaving about 5 cm, a nice heart grew from the middle!
Thanks for the compliments, Donna, I have Chris to thank for a lot of my plants, he got the seedlings for me at the right time!
Comment by Donna on July 15, 2009 at 15:43
You are certainly an inspiration and obviously picked the 'right' time to get ready for winter with your plantings - I am so jealous!
Comment by Florence on July 15, 2009 at 15:29
Is that a Winnow you've got there holding the tomatoes? Where can you get them? It's mentioned in the seed savers handbook ~

Oh, does your wombok heart up and looks like the ones in the shop?

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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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