Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Hi everyone,

Things have been HOT! I keep waiting for all the storms to hit with their promised rains but all of it is missing my place.  I've started watering despite the promise of rain because so far none is getting us.   Well today was my last day at work (I'm transferring to a different school next year) and my work colleagues know how much I love gardening so they got me some beautiful gifts. 

In return, I made use of my honey for gifts for everyone.  I think they looked rather nice :)

I did actually manage to make my peach preserves.  I don't think I packed them tight enough but no matter, they taste good :) and it's not bad for my first attempt I think.

My melons have taken off.  Most prolific is the Ananas rockmelon but I also have my first cream of saskatschwan melon set too.

First eggplant on my listada de gandia bush.  Many to follow :)  Love this variety I'm having a massive problem with aphids and whitefly at the moment.  I nearly reached for the eco oil but I've been listening to a lot of organic gardening advice lately and as much as it pains my, I'm trying to see if I can encourage more of the good bugs in - I mean, that was the whole idea behind increasing the number of flowers around the place and I've seen a lot of dragon flies and lady bugs around lately.  So no sprays.  I did blast with the hose and will continue to do so every couple of days but looks like lady bugs and their larvae (circled in red - blurry) are doing their thang! Just hope their population increases enough to get those aphids under control.  Any advice as to what to do about whitefly?

Not happy at all about the lychees - probably didn't give them enough water but I've only had about 10 stay on the 2 trees.  The rest have shrivelled to this

About the only fruit I'm harvesting is the occasional paw paw, strawberries and the panama berries.

Oh well, the melons are looking promising so here's hoping we'll be harvesting those soon.  Happy gardening people!!

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Comment by Lissa on December 13, 2015 at 16:15

Hey Dianne :) Good to see you. Did you see my message earlier?

You don't have to split your native bee hive you know. They will stay just as they are happily for years.

Comment by Dianne Caswell on December 13, 2015 at 11:20

Oh Susan, Your produce is looking fabulous. I am so pleased you are enjoying your preserving. I may not be allowed in the garden at the moment but that has not stoped me from making use of what I have been growing. It is such fun the feeling of making things from scratch isn't it. Your honey looks great. My poor little Native Bees are still waiting for their hive to be split. I am just so scared I will kill them if I do it myself. But I think after Christmas I will just take a deep breath and do it.

Have a wonderful Christmas and I hope to see you all in the New Year...

Comment by Lissa on December 12, 2015 at 5:42

Yum. Look at that sweet little red Panama Berry. I do miss mine, but not the tree itself.

Isn't it hard to leave the bugs to work themselves out. In the end, with my oniony plants, I had had enough of daily finger squashing and just chopped them all back. That was all they needed. Re-grew again in about a week and it was easy to keep the smaller amount of black aphid squished. No sign of the aphid now.

Lychee like a lot of water when they are carrying crop (I read that somewhere - as mine hadn't been cropping in recent years I didn't worry too much about it but must give mine a good soak this weekend).

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on December 11, 2015 at 19:51

Gardens are always a mixed bag :-\ Whitefly have several predators including ladybirds and lacewings. I've found the infestations are controlled by the predators if you leave them to do their thing. Strong plants can cope with a few sucking insects. The trick is to have the soil as healthy as you can and that's probably a matter of opinion. Adding microbes should help as the microbes allow the plant to use the minerals in the soil and strengthen the plant's cells against attacks from diseases and pests.

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VETIVER COMMUNITY PROJECT

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.)

The Vetiver Community Project 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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