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Growing local

First zucchini harvest was really gratifying! When we returned from Melbourne a week ago, there they were, ready for the wok! My dad had been watering the backyard while we were away, thank goodness, or everything would have shrivelled up and died.

However, while we were away, the dreaded mildew had also developed on the zuk and cuke plants. Started spraying with watered-down milk and that seems to have halted the pest. I am still hand pollinating, as the male and female flowers seem to not be coordinating their act! But they are still producing well, although the lebanese cukes are doing better than the burpless.
The sweetcorn were also ready to pick, and we have been slowly and appreciatively nibbling at them. They are only littlies, but sooo sweet! I've left the cobless plants as stakes for the beans planted next to them. Also planted a new patch of sweetcorn seedlings to keep us in supply through summer.

While we were away, the arrowroot had shot up, and selfseeded amaranth has taken over again. This part of the bed is a new extension, and is already crowded with arrowroot, cassava, lemongrass, a mandarin tree, selfseeded tomatoes...

Up from this patch, in the same bed, the winged beans are thriving, flowering, already past the top of the wire mesh, and okra are doing well, with pods showing. The infrastructure manager has put a shadecloth over this area too, so hopefully they'll do well through summer.

I put in another eggplant (blue striped) - the first one which was planted in winter has already yielded 2 fruits, and I'm hoping the heat will have them zooming ahead. Next to the egg plant is the Brazilian Spinach grown from a slip that Cassandra gave me months ago.

The second raised raised bed is a bit empty since I pulled out the broccoli and caulies, and the rest of the brassicas. I've put in bittermelons at one end, already fruiting, and angled loofah at the other end, with 3 golden zucchinis sharing the bed. This morning I sprinkled some radish seeds in a row next to the soaker hose.

I miss my leafy veges, so will try to grow some near the radish.
The remaining Green Harvest potatoes - kipflers - were sprouting, so I had no alternative but to make a bed for them, in the shade under the big trees near the back fence. They seem to be doing ok, keeping my fingers crossed! I'm trying the mulching method again, but this time layering with compost.

The purple kings are still giving us a handful a week, plenty of leeks left, and lots of celery, although they are starting to get woody. The last of the kale has gone into the compost. Also into the compost went the mushroom kit, which was a big disappointment - we got 3 flushes of about 300gms each time. But I think I'd overwatered it, as there was a lot of water in the bottom of the box when we tipped it out.

Yesterday I dug out most of the garlic that was in the kale bed, they were all single bulbs!

The "sick" lemon bush has been resurrected, with a bit of pruning, feeding and is bursting with flowers!

This has been a fulfilling year of growing, tending, harvesting....and starting again, as I've planted from seeds from the last harvest! It's also been a year of learning - from you fellow gardeners - Thanks!!

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Comment by Scarlett on November 18, 2009 at 14:20
fantastic :)
Comment by Donna on November 18, 2009 at 10:19
Your garden looks fantastic Addy! Great variety of food, I need to get some of my beds shaded for summer although Ash has just enlarged one bed and built a frame for pumpkins to grow over and provide shade so hopefully that works!
Comment by Addy on November 17, 2009 at 17:47
Elaine, if you could save me a few seeds of the white brinjal (eggplant) I'd be so grateful! I'll trade you winged bean seeds - this is anticipating a good harvest, now! I used to grow white eggplants in Townsville, sent a few seeds to my mum in Brissie, and she did well with them for a few years, then let them lapse. I bought a seedling from Bunnings last year, but it wasn't very fruitful at all...
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on November 17, 2009 at 17:32
Two lots of Rosa Bianca seeds have failed to sprout so if you are going to keep some, if we can catch up sometime, I'd love some.

Apparently you have to leave the fruit for seed on the plant until the fruit goes yellow (if they were white to start with) and splits. I don't know how to extract the seed, my efforts so far have only yielded a mess. Some tips would help!

I have a white Eggplant here, the plant was given to me by a Sri Lankan man and the plant has fruited and fruited for 3 years now. I'm making another attempt to keep seeds. The white one from Pohlmanns is OK but nowhere near as tough as the white one above. And the flavour is superb.

Although they like Capsicums prefer the summer, if they are in a warm spot and well fed and watered they will fruit throughout the winter except for the very coldest times.
Comment by Addy on November 17, 2009 at 9:17
I sliced the zucchinis really fine, and stirfried with chopped tomatoes and leeks, it was really delicious, as everything was straight from the patch! I bought the eggplant seedlings from Bunnings, must try to grow from seed next time.
Comment by Florence on November 17, 2009 at 9:13
This is excellent Addy, so productive!!
Those zuchinnis are huge, do you stirfry them at that size?
I didn't know you can grow eggplants in winter ~ I sow mine in early spring, I think I can see flowers forming on one of them now, not sure whether it was black beauty or the purple stripe ones which I got seeds from Amanda. I hope I get some purple stripe ones to save seeds from. I've grown Rosa Bianca before, but didn't get to save seeds before they got killed by probably a virus pass on from the 28-spotted beetles. Hope I can get on top of these beetles this time.

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