Brisbane Local Food

Growing local


Well, I finally have a small space within the nursery that surrounds my new home, to grow some pots of edibles for myself. 

Some sunlight during the day but shade in the arvo.

Because I'm renting I'm keeping to pots and grow bags (still to come) so I need food plants that won't grow huge or need too much space and are productive and versatile.

Herb pot (foreground) has been going for many months now at the last house-sit. When moving, I emptied the pot, shoved the plants in buckets of water and re potted it all at my new place. I didn't expect much but all the plants have taken off again. 

Sage, Sorrel, parsley and a sad looking Rosemary hiding in the middle along with a couple of Asian greens and Spring Onions grown from store bought cut-offs. 

I have bought a large Rosemary from the nursery as it's my favourite herb.

Small pot on the right has Rocket and more sprouting garlic.

Pot on the left is Ethiopian Cabbage, surrounded by garlic that just insisted on being planted. Good for garlic shoots. The seed for the EC came from Yandina Community Garden and out of an entire packet that I have been carting around for a year, only two precious seedlings came up. 

Pot in the middle has my precious Walking Stick Collards which had a pretty good germination rate. I'll have to thin these out in a pot this size.

Warrigal Greens grow in easily accessible spots on the island, including on the beach. I will liberate a plant or two for a grow bag. Very useful green.

I liked the look of the Chaya that Dave was spruiking and have ordered one. It looks like the sort of perennial that would do ok in a pot. A bit like Aibika only tastier by the sounds.

I would love a Moringa, one of my favourite greens, but any other suggestions for things to grow that I just must have, please! 


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Comment by Lissa on February 15, 2019 at 14:07

Lovely to have you here Rob :)

Sid gave me some cuttings of Sambung and one of them has taken off. It's a good one to have for sure.

My "garden" isn't doing so great. Lack of sunlight and an infestation of black ants farming aphid are knocking it around. Think I'm going to have to wait until I get my 'forever' home....whenever that is.

Comment by Rob Collings on February 14, 2019 at 21:25

Nice to see you with plants again Lissa. Sambung or Longevity Spinach (Gynura procumbens) This one's easy to grow and one of the healthiest documented plants I have found to date. Have a read on the research conducted in the NCBI link.

Longevity Spinach

Dianne's Blog

Comment by Lissa on January 24, 2019 at 16:32

I think the cactus would freak out the landlords/owners of the nursery. Besides, I could grow something smaller that I would eat more such as sweet potato. Love SP greens.

My Chaya is in a grow bag. Will see how it goes. I can always take cuttings.

The little spaniels belong to my landlords. Two sweet little King Charles Cavilers :) I have no pets anymore...I must have had Hugo when I saw you at my place last time but he is now long gone but lovingly remembered.

Comment by Pollyanna on January 23, 2019 at 19:04

Pity about the cactus because you can keep it small and I’ve discovered it does just fine with a fair bit of shade. Maybe offer the nursery some cuttings. It’s supposed to be good for diabetics and given the median age of Bribie residents it could sell well for them if they presented it properly.

Comment by Pollyanna on January 23, 2019 at 18:54

Hey Lissa,

Chaya will get pretty big, the one mine came from was a good 3x3. Never got to find out, growing in a tub on the second story veranda I came out one morning to a stump and a few wood chips. The possum (I think it’s only one) around here is a real pest. Maybe you can keep it in check, I’ve heard they don’t like their roots messed with so possibly a bit of root pruning, or a tree grow bag that will do air pruning. Maybe the nursery could get one in for you; not cheap, but a more long term solution. In Toowoomba mine was deciduous, which could work for you in a small space, but possibly evergreen where you are? Or maybe you can thin the canopy to provide dappled shade that some veggies appreciate in summer; you’re going to be picking to eat anyway.  They do need full sun, when one of mine got shaded by the feral cassava it weakened and got scale.

Won't your hardware store do a bit of sawing for you? If you’ve got a Freecycle or equivalent, put out a call for a few things. You’d be surprised how many people just put away things like electric drills when they get a new one. With Christmas just passed you might get lucky.

i have a non garden, still. I can only do a couple of hours of anything that involves arms extended in front, so it’s either garden or cook and wash up :-/. Still looking for a solution to that problem.

Is the little spaniel in the photo yours???

Comment by Lissa on January 23, 2019 at 9:43

 Hey Peggy :) Good to hear from you. How's the garden going in Toowoomba?

Since taking the photos above I have added a Chaya, Sambung and Sweet Potato (thanks to Sid), Warrigal Greens (c/- of growing on the Bribie beach) and have seeds coming for various edible plants (chrysanthemum, Moringa and edible cosmos). So my space is getting pretty much used up. The area in the top photo to the right of the paving stones is all I have to play with and it only gets maybe 4 hours of sunlight per day.

I would love a Lime but that will have to wait. The Chaya apparently grows quite big...something I found out after I ordered it lol. Don't want to freak out the nursery owners by growing triffids or cactus, thorn less or not.

The tubes will come one day when I organise the hardware to cut me some pieces.

Comment by Pollyanna on January 23, 2019 at 6:39

Hey, great to see you’re gardening in your own place again! Ning never notifies me of anything except write ups on most recent garden visits, so I’m a bit late adding my 2¢.

With the poly tubes, that is what some exhibition gardeners use to grow long, straight carrots. How about trying horseradish in one? Harvesting the root would be so much easier than trying to wrestle it out of the ground.They split the tubes and hold the halves together with string or what have you.

For pots, how about the spineless prickly pear? The one you gave me is a monster, but they also grow well in pots. As far as a dwarf lime, growing it in a pot/tub will limit the size, you won’t have to let it get it’s full (3/4) size. Lotsa Lemons stays quite small, smaller than the lime, even in the ground.

I had good success with yacon in grow bags, until I got slack with watering.

Comment by Valerie on January 9, 2019 at 20:06

There are a few facebook pages with free stuff, ('buy nothing' is a good one) that can be used for gardening and of course council clean up is always a surprising source of creativity. 

Comment by Lissa on January 9, 2019 at 17:57
Hey Roger. I still don't have full internet connection and your photos are loading slowlyyyy.
I find grow bags pretty cheap - 4 for $22. I don't have tools, drills etc, so while the tubes are appealing (I was thinking of them individually filling little empty spots) they would actually be quite difficult for me to create. At the moment anyway. Who knows about down the track.
Comment by Roger Clark on January 9, 2019 at 16:05

Actually other way around for the photos (as if you couldn't tell)!

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