Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

The all-time favourite edible. A marginal crop for this area (coastal south-east Queensland). And one I have struggled to grow for years. Until this year.

Why this year? Who knows!

Best crop ever and still going although towards the end of the short BB season.

Originally Rob C gave me some seeds from plants he had success with. A short-growing variety, name unknown. After growing plants from those seeds for a couple of years with mixed results, this season I again planted 12 of the fattest seeds and awaited results.

Direct sown into a wicking bed - one converted from an above-ground bed so soil depth is not great. The bed gets more afternoon sun than morning.

So: why the good results? Could it be a few generations of organically-grown seed? Could it be the right location (previous crops in the same location were not so great). Could it be that I planted the seeds according to the moon planting guide? Could it be that I got the supports in early and was able to clamp the stems to the strings so the plants grew more upright than usual?

Take your pick! This must be the fourth picking and the biggest so far. I prefer to cook the beans pod and all, just topping and tailing before steaming. Serve with butter. Sensational.

A bonus pic is a few other pickings from this morning. After nearly 2 inches of rain.

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Ate my first pick of broad beans last night too. First time growing them here. I am surprise how well they've done with neglect.

Or maybe this year is just a good year from Broad Beans!

It is often such a mystery "why" isn't it. If only we could start the process of study earlier in life. If I think about it too much it distresses me that I have lost years by losing my garden at Strathpine.

Unless any of us can set up side-by-side tests and minutely record the results, find the 'whys' will be difficult.

I'd love to get hold of some of the commercial varieties that are bred for the subtropics - Doza, Cairo, Nanu, Nasma and Warda are all supposed to flower sooner and be more disease-resistant to tropical diseases than the silly old varieties we're using. However, you basically need a full-time agronomist and a team of lawyers to get hold of these seeds.


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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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