Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

For a while I have wanted to start to grow Gooseberries, memories of Boarding School and making Jams and Jellies with the Nuns during school holidays. I am looking for the "Old Fashioned" Plants or Cuttings, I am willing to pay. My day today has been spent on the Computer trying to find anyone who may have them for sale, but the only one I can find is Gooseberry - Captivator Ribes uva-crispa  .

You may have them growing or know of someone with an old fashioned garden who may have them growing. in the 1800's they were prized and there were many Gooseberry Clubs, growers guarded their Gooseberries like gold. They vied for the Big Prizes for the Biggest, Sweetest and Preserves made from their Berries. The growing of Gooseberries has waned over the years but I would love to revive the passion for growing these lovely juicy little bubbles of goodness. 

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Hi Lissa, I am going to buy Captivator from Daley's today. They have built a new Dinning Room over the School Veg Garden but I might contact them anyway as someone up there may have some old varieties.

Sounds good. Let us know how it goes for you. I would love to grow real berries!

Every time I try to grow Cape Gooseberries they are ruined by the lava of a beetle, and I remember when I was a kid, we had a massive plant outside the backyard toilet ( before sewerage ) and there were no beetles.

Excuse me, I am a bit of a lady, But - Do you think the beetles were chased off by the wiff?

Or the richness of the soil ;-)

Is the muncher of the Cape Gooseberries the flea beetle which loves other Solanums?

ours weren't flea beetle - ours were decimated by a bright orange very hairy caterpillar - one I have never seen before - one day the plants looked awesome healthy and had lots of flowers - two days later not a green leaf or flower left ... still trying to find Cossack pineapple - a very rare old relative of cape gooseberry - similar appearance but pineapple flavoured

Pineapple Flavour, sounds different and lovely...

Did you try Brisbane Insects ? They've got pix of most insects and spiders we find in our gardens.

The insect which attacks my cape gooseberries is the cucumber beetle also known by several other names. It is a smallish yellow brown beetle which just loves the cape g leaves. It lays it's eggs under the leaves and when hatched these turn into a gooey slug like creature which exudes a black gooey substance. If I have a cape g plant I check it every time I go near it for the beetles who are more often than not found copulating. They seem to be the randiest insects around. If you can keep finding and squashing these insects you may just have a chance of a crop. Now that the weather has got a little colder the beetles have disappeared and I have fruit forming, but unless it stays warm during the day I doubt if these will develop.

These beetles are reputed to also spread a virus to other plants, so it is a good idea to keep them under strict control. I'll try to find a photo to include. The web will have them though. 

Or maybe not!

I'll wait till I have some fine white mesh that will keep the beetles out, then maybe I'll get some gooseberries.


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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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