Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Well I succumbed to my favourite spice and purchased a cinammon tree from Daley's.  When we visited the place they had one in their covered area and it was a beautiful tree which can be kept smaller by coppicing.  It has a lovely flush of colour on the leaf and though it may be difficult to harvest the quills of bark, the leaves can be used for flavour and simply crushed and sniff to make you feel better.  Cinnamon is a spice I consume everyday.   It is harder to find the true fine cinnamon powder these days as most of it is not a true type and I noticed it when my mouth reacted to the other type, which is freely available.

Do any of our members have this tree growing and if so, any hints would be appreciated.

Below is a photo from the Daley's website.

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do not have it growing but it is on my wish list so am waiting impatiently for replies  We use a lots of cinnamon too - I just succumbed to my favorite and purchased a cashew nut tree -takes a lot of processing as the nuts are poisonous until processed properly but i love cashew apples ! 

I didn't realise they are poisonous - what sort of processing do you need? Does cashew grow well here? Cheers

I often use the rare fruits site so this is the idea of the processing

They shell the nuts   put in oven at low temperature   and use a machine to process by hand  one nut at a time i think Australian nuts are sent to Asia for cheap labor.

I hope that it grows well for you Christa. I killed mine :-(. I am surprised it is doing well in Kyogle; it's a tropical plant and I believe what is now Indonesia was the 'Spice Islands' of my school days and was the place Cinnamon, Cloves and other tropical spices were grown commercially. That 'other' Cinnamon, Cassia, is supposed to have similar properties to the real thing. Interesting that you have reacted to it.

How did you have it growing Elaine, was it in the ground or pot, do you remember sun or shade.  I was going to put it in a very large pot or maybe in the ground and chop it back regularly.  The cassia type made my mouth raw, I believe it does not use the same part of the bark and appears to be more of a coarse powder.

Good luck with the cashew tree, Mary- Ann, you will not know if you don't try.  They grow well up north so sometimes they just need a bit of nursing when they are young, if you have the time.

we were told the main problem with the cashew tree  by Josh at

is it doesn't like wet feet even more so than an avocado tree - so it will go on a slope with a bed built up of sand ! how I will do the olives too ! van Veens is awesome if you are ever up that way - Josh really knows his plants and only grows and recommends what will grow in his area ... its were we are waiting for our tea from !!! 

Mary-Ann, regarding Olive trees, we grew one (Manzanillo I think) quite a few years ago and planted it next to our new shed.  It grew and grew and grew and fruited heavily and we had to cut it down as we did not know what to do with the fruit which filled the shed gutters and hung over the roof of the shed. It had a huge trunk and often, visiiting Italians would wonder why it was so big.  It was growing in road base material which was about 6ft deep under the shed.  The stuff from the quarries on Dayboro Road.  This may help if growing Olives, we still have the stump which is at least 18 inches across to remind us.

thanks for the information - we used to help the old Italian guy next door in Perth to process his olives in the bath tub = 

  1. added salt to the water and holding the olives under water for a few days / weeks until the bitterness is leeched out by the salt.
  2. then we  preserved the olives in jars for eating later. The jars contain either a simple salt brine marinade, or vinegar, herbs and spices - .

I liked boh but some people like them in Brine some in Vinegar  - was easy just time consuming.. They grew as trees on the verges all along Marmion Avenue in Perth and lots of people would pick them during the season and preserve them ! fun social activity ! 

Interesting so the roadbase acted like rock dust? / really good drainage

if you get granite road base - granite rock dust is just more crushed granite road base  -  it contains 60+ different elements, including many trace elements. beware of limestone rock dust or road base can actually be harmful to some plants ... each area produces its own rock dust so composition vary 

Remember where they come from: Mediterranean. Cold wet winters, hot dry summers. Our humidity is a major challenge for many European plants. Buy your stock from a Nursery which specialises in warm-adapted plants; not just pick one up at a market or supermarket. You plant the Olive for your Grandchildren they say so make a wise investment coz it will be with you for decades.

So drainage is a must and by the sounds of the roadbase, many micro-nutrients are necessary too. Keeping it 'dry' over summer will be fun. I recommend in the ground and built up if necessary. Personally I wouldn't go for a wicking bin for Olive nor Avocado but I do not have first-hand experience, just the knowledge that they demand perfect drainage as do Paw Paw/Papaya which live in the ground here. As indeed do Grevilleas who will die easily with 'wet feet'.


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