Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Fourth day of winter and it's raining after about two months of dry weather. Lovely :)

Woke me during the night when usually rain makes me sleep deeper but my subconscious was obviously non-plussed by the strange sound of wind in the chimes and rain on the ground.

Let's hope we don't get the extreme weather that the powers-that-be have been warning us will come today.

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Horrible wind, did your Banana Tree have any fruit on it? It was so wonderful to see our members getting a lovely lot of rain.

I had almost 200 mm.  Roof leaked.  Insurance claim lodged.  

Sorry to hear that Andy - hope the damage isn't too bad.

You really got your share of rain Andy. Didn't the leaky roof happen as well in the last big downpour we had, when you had to fix your wall, or am I thinking of someone else.

No that was me too Dianne.  I have a flat cliplock roof.... never again!

So sorry you and Roz have to go through that again...

Looking at NSW and Tassie -- even Lismore and the Brunswick River -- we were very fortunate not to have been washed away in similar volumes of inundation --  despite some localised flooding.

Saturday's high tide -- 9.30pm -- could have been real nasty if breasted by a storm surge, like happened along the Sydney coast. Such a potential strong NE blow would have impacted heavily on the Redcliffe Peninsula. 

In my region we are still ruled by the experience of May 1st last year when 5 drowned in 3 separate incidents around Caboolture -- traffic chaos, massive disaster emergency, sudden sharp rise in water levels.Horrendous. 

But I tell you on sand  it is so benign --so long as the sea stays in its proper place - even though we got cut off from the west for a time as the river rose.

James Hansen et al's new research 'ice melt' paper argues that as well as faster sea level rise we can expect frequent superstorms. That the Coal Sea is still way above average temperature for this time of year (thus the savage coral bleaching of most of the Reef)  -- also suggests that as we shift out of El Nino we can -- according to the BOM -- expect a wet time of it this year.

For now that weather pattern of storms that stretched the length of the east coast is/was remarkable and maybe we need to look to our garden beds with better drainage in mind.That and keep them trees at roof height....even the fig at the Normandy Five Ways fell over.

The water table would have been low after so long without good rain -- but that may not take long to be topped up -- depending on your location, soil, terrain, etc.

Nothing I hate more  than having to get out in the pouring rain and dig ditches around the tent -- or, for that matter, a house or a garden!

Guess I moved with that in mind, albeit unconsciously?

On sand it's utter magic.  No mud. No pooling.  All dry by the next day. 

its probably been asked before but where are you Dave ? Sand must be hard to grow things on though ... the surface was dry here (King Scrub) next day helped by the wind and living on a saddleback  - the only mud we had was where the house pad was doze and we haven t had a chance to build up the soil again - still cant believe on the 9th May last year there was nothing here at all except 5 citrus trees of unknown variety - lots of hard work and we have a house shed and tank, fencing  and just about self sufficient in fruit and vegetables ( with the help of lots of cuttings and seeds from this group and Bogi and swapping sweet potatoes pumkins , cucumbers tomatoes and chokos for other fruits with neighbours.. so the rain has saved me an hour a day watering ! great news when you get home from ork as its getting dark !  

At the mouth of the Caboolture River: Beachmere. My cycling tells me that there is only one rise in town and flatness rules with some gradation you don't notice underfoot.

In a rise hill like that, Mary-Ann, you should be as safe as houses -- except for the wind. 

While I point out to sea, my experience suggests that given all storm possibilities no one is absolutely safe-- anywhere. Look at Canberra this last week.  Our advantage is that -- touch wood -- we know what's possible as the elements are routine. Most of the houses in my street -- including my own (not that we lived here then) -- lost their roofs in the great storms of 1985. And 15 feet of out-to-sea esplanade was lost to the sea in a late 70s cyclone. 

During the tragic 50s 'Gold Coast Cyclone' the storm surge here was such that boats were carried into the tree tops (I assume mangroves).

Every year or so with a north westerly blowing we get bushfires. When the river rises we can get cut off -- a few years back for 3 days. Thus the school has an excellent emergency management program for sleep overs so that parents don't try to get to the school through the floods.

We're consolidating an emergency management committee so you get to look at your neighbourhood with suspicious eyes when you sit down with police, fire brigade, council and SES.

My point is that maybe patrolling your property with vulnerability in mind is time well spent. First up improve your drainage. Second: protect your roof. A chain saw is a good idea if you have any trees. 

We've created a in town evacuation centre but you really don't want to deal with any problems during a storm. But, touch wood, with education we are an 'aware' community. 

In storms people do the stupidest things. Last May the Bruce Highway and most feeder roads in this district, was in absolute chaos.The stories are horrendous. The confusion and panic massive. So stay off the roads. Rather than travel, Brisbane CBD real does need a sleepover or safety centre. Even my daughter had to walk home in the rain to Bracken Ridge when the trains ceased to function and the bus routes were flooded.

We need these memories because the context will keep coming back.

Col had a discussion with someone about flood insurance and they couldn't understand why we didn't need it .... imagine how many people would be effected if we needed flood insurance ! will definitely have to get to more garden visits now things are starting to settle here ! look forward to them

Mary-Ann, Dave is the master when it comes to growing in sand. He has truly learned to turn sand into an almost compost growing medium. You must come to the next GV we have at his home.


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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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