Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Take a Walk on the Wild (Edibles) Side

Only four and a half minuets. This is good for both Lissa's and Mark's group.
You don't get much writing from Bob Cannard (appears in last half of video), however there's a few videos around where we can hear his wise words.
Berkeley Food Institute's posting description.... Follow Mark Bittman as he takes a walk on the wild side with two UC Berkeley researchers as they pick and taste edible weeds...

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Comment by Lissa on January 14, 2017 at 15:21

Good advice Sophie. I am guilty of just putting whatever I find into my mouth!

Comment by Sophie on January 14, 2017 at 9:27
Cannot stress the importance of washing "weeds" and other leafy greens for that matter before consumption. A few years ago I was overzealous and ate some park weeds and caught some nasty parasites that had me sick for months. Even with a bit of white vinegar to be safe.
Comment by Dave Riley on January 10, 2017 at 10:13

As I've mentioned before I save all my pot water and kitchen cuttings. I strain it into my brew pot and the  solids go to the chooks.I inoculate it with aloe vera fertilizer (which has already been fermented). I reclaim that later on after being back ended via the Parson's Nose.

And the rest, as they say, is history...

But another layer of intervention is to also inoculate the brew with microbial rich soil from a rainforest floor. This explains the DIY of how to grow your own Mycorrhizae :LINK.

As for this:

One thing I have trouble with is that he has a stockpot with his kitchen scraps and simmers them overnight and uses the water and throws the solids into the compost.

He is sterilising the food scraps thus killing microbes. Why on earth would he bother to do that unless he inoculates  the stock  and his inoculant can replicate in the stock without competition.?

But I reckon all roads lead to Loam...sooner or later.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on January 10, 2017 at 8:49

All organic-type gardening is quite a lot of work. That's why farmers embraced the fertilizer out of a bag which came in general use at least just after WW2 if not before. The difference being that manufactured fertilizers kill the soil citizens seen and un-seen where the organic-related way of doing things encourages them.

Cherries - did they spit out the pits? ;-) One of my Labradors used to eat grapes off the vine and spat out the seeds. Quite something to see. The same dog which ate the raw Potato. She was quite a character.

Comment by Christa on January 10, 2017 at 8:31

Yes, that makes sense now, Elaine.  Seems like a bit of work though.  We would need a cauldron and a big stirrer and maybe a pointy hat.   Mum used to get us to throw her pot water out the window on the parsley plot and pawpaw plants up against the house. 

Our dogs love cherries as we found out at Christmas dinner time. 

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on January 9, 2017 at 22:09

Christa, he would use the vegetable water as a means of getting minerals onto his gardens. My Dad used to use the vegetable water in that way - or sometimes we drank it and very nice too.

We tend to think of cooked veges as being 'no good' but many veges are not palatable (nor even safe) to eat raw, Potato springs to mind although one of my Labradors adored raw Potato (work that out!). Anyway - the minerals would not be affected by heat but the vitamins would - we don't need to feed vitamins to plants, they are the source of vitamins.

Comment by Christa on January 9, 2017 at 19:10

Dave, In his video, he mentions how you have to farm the weeds and watch them and learn from them. It has taken a few years of watching and finding out which weeds (as we will call them) benefit and fit in the growing time frame and also their root competition and their peak growing time.  He said not to kill baby plants.   Apparently some weeds grow and provide shade and then die down just before it is time to harvest the food plants.  Onions and Garlic are crops that do not like competition, he found, until they are established. 

Then he makes a brew, similar to the brew that you made, but within different barrels.  One was specific to fungi and another to bacteria, then he added raw salt, a herb tea, and I think oatmeal, and  sugar(beer), sawdust, rockdust and powdered oyster shell,  and a few other things. This is aerated and then sent to a larger tank to feed the farm.    It is a lot to take in, and I will have to watch the video a few times before I can understand his teachings.   He is trying to replicated the process of the streams of water flowing down from the mountain tops and picking up all the minerals, microbes etc as it flows down.  

One thing I have trouble with is that he has a stockpot with his kitchen scraps and simmers them overnight and uses the water and throws the solids in the compost. 

What would be the purpose of doing that. 

Comment by Dave Riley on January 9, 2017 at 18:33

Many 'vegetables' started as weeds.Tomatoes, for instance, were originally 'weeds' in the Aztec corn fields.

Salad greens: all 'weeds' to begin with.

Indeed all leaf plants are 'weeds'...

But there are two perennial questions about weeds:

  1. Do they compete with plants we seek to grow and harvest for food?
  2. Can they be contained without pulling and uprooting them?

I also think there is an associated question -- not addressed by Cannard: if mulching suppresses weeds, is this  good or bad?

One of our ideological burdens is the ideology of mono culture. One plant species:  no weeds.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on January 9, 2017 at 16:20

Ever the lazy gardener, I have allowed 'weeds' to be my volunteer cover crop. Downside: LOTS of seedling weeds.

Working on the theory that the weeds come to a specific spot to give that area the nutrients it needs ... so unless we can somehow replace those nutrients, the weeds are going to continue to grow. Don't we know it! So one way apart from weed tea is to chop and drop the weeds and allow the microbes to take what they need from the in-situ compost.

Smothering the weeds with mulch will be a real step in the right direction. You will be leaving the nutrients there and allowing them to break down in their own time and adding some more nutrients in the shape of the mulch.

The 50-50 rule has a great deal going for it. Instead of paying out for imported nutrients, Bob is growing his own so he knows exactly what's there. Although I think he uses animal manures too in the form of teas. There is so much info in his talk, I have not taken it all in yet.

Comment by Dave Riley on January 9, 2017 at 11:27

The main thing that jumped out at me from Cannard was his 50:50 rule.: grow half your stuff for sale and human consumption and the other half to sustain the farm ecology and infrastructure.

The weed thing is very interesting. I'm a weed softee and really only 'weed' the weeds a few times each year. But I feel I'm committing a sin -- the sin of sloth.

Since my mower man did a bunk -- seriously he has done a major bunk on all the places he mows -- the weeds have spread keenly and Cannard has relaxed my anxiety while I avail myself of the opportunity to observe  how weeds and veges cohabit.

Just the same, when I get more mulch I'm gonna smother them all....although I take on board the hypothesis he works from. Afterall 'ground cover' and weeds are almost synonymous.

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