Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

This year I deployed a cunning plan. I planted potatoes when I had them to plant.

I snaffled planting stock from all the new varieties that hit the supermarket shelves  and planted them out willy nilly throughout most months.

And I've been harvesting my way through them ever since.

I prefer to store these spuds in the ground so I mark each plant with a rod as it dies back so i can locate the tubers later. (In mounds this is easy storage as the water drains away in the sand).

Needless to say my harvest is tasty although the amount of potatoes from each plant has not been great.Nor are the spuds large.

My best performer has been the  Kipflers. Go figure. Double the amount from other varieties.

I have some sprouting stock on hand so I'm going to plant out some more spuds in the shadier regions of my patch.A Summer experiment.It may not be the optimum time of year to grow spuds but I see where 'tis possible so long as you keep humidity in mind. On sand -- I think I have a chance.

Since my sweet potatoes have not thrived -- like never -- i gotta get my carbs from somewhere else.

I just planted out a batch of purple yams-- Dioscorea alata -- which i grow , not so much because I love them to eat -- but i love the way they grow -- with their upright climbing, almost delicate,  stem.

I have  a lot of Jerusalem Artichokes about but I can't recall where I planted them.And out there  somewhere are more yacón and jicama .

And that's it: it has been a sorry year for root veg.  Best not talk about my carrots and radishes, beetroots...But then i got some amazing turnips.

Better luck next year, Dave.

Plant of the Year for 2016:

Not so straightforward this time around. Looking at the contenders, I have to say that finally the spring onion and I have merged. These faithfuls have kept me supplied with an allium hit all year -- month in/month out. That means I grow a lot of scallions. You bet. They are my staple. I haven't chopped up a 'normal' onion seemingly for ever.

Mind you,while I'd Iike to become a spring onion aficionado, the many varieties don't perform as well as the bunching types I buy as seedlings from the Caboolture markets.

So many of my spring onions now are thick stemmed  but they sure do cook up well. In the past i harvested them much smaller, but because I've reached optimum management numbers I've mastered the logic of perennial supply. There is always -- always! -- room to plant spring onions.

This year too was the time of the pigeon pea -- of which I have many 'bushes'. First time with PPs so I'm learning. There are PPs and then there are PPs. If you want to consume them green I reckon you gotta go for the large pod variety. So I'm culling my bushes. It isn't worth it growing your own dry peas --as they are so cheap to buy in Indian grocers. I'm set to plant out some PP hedges -- lovely flower, mottled shade for underneath, rooting downwards rather than at surface, great for supporting tomato bushes and climbing beans.

The green peas go with a lot of dishes and the trick is to always harvest the pods when you can feel well formed peas inside. Easy to grow.

The irony is that this year I'm becoming almost veg self sufficient --except for essentials I have to buy in-- like carrots!(and garlic). If you eat with the seasons  you get to eat a menu harvest. My big challenge is to consolidate a regular sweet pepper supply. I can do it with chilies but the bigger boys are being resistive. Then there is Turmeric: resistive also.. . The big surprise were the cabbages -- I'm still harvesting them. The thrill was that by growing Leaf (aka: Chinese) Celery I'm supplied in that department (I use it like a herb) without fretting over watering.

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I say Oops for me as well, because this one is worded in some posts as the exception to all other Lima beans (Phaseolus lanatus).

In comparison to most other crops, Lima beans contain high cyanogenic glycosides, in fact 2 to 3 times higher than cassava (Some of this ends up converting to HCN). 

Cyanogenic_Glycosides-Toxin - Check out the table on page 2 and you can see Lima beans have the highest listed levels (for the species listed in the table).

NIFS - This doco is a 1984 revision only.

Wiki Lima Beans - Mentioned caution under Health Hazards - btw, this is a good example of wiki not being good enough for me to feel comfortable, including the links upon checking, the two links above this one, found independently of Wiki, made up for the lack of enough material as the hazards comment is just quoting a newspaper style article.

I have in the past eaten the Madagascar beans raw in low numbers and if there was no pink (or purple). I have heard that these should be ok if white. I have read from blogs and posts (only), that they are the exception within the species.

The first two links make strong caution against eating that particular species of which the Madagascar Bean is part of, and do not cite an exception for Madagascar Bean.

I'm not going to eat these guys raw now, and I'll have a good read of the varied tips in all 3 links above on how to prepare them from now on with the New Zealand Food Safety (Cyanogenic_Glycosides-ToxinDocument as a guide although it only seems to mention removing the same toxin in Cassava... better than nothing... and when preparing food for others, I don't mind overkill considering this particular info.

Oh  no !please not my beloved madagascar beans as well

Not a singe one will go to waste here Darren, I'm just going to prepare them as Lima beans would be, just in case... have to do some more reading.

Thanks for that Rob, one last question, can you plant them anytime and how long before they are yielding pea pods?  Somewhere I read that if you eat ??? with them, you produce less wind, but I have forgotten what ??? was.

Cool, rob, thanks!

Plenty of spelling mistakes in my long response above... Flower = flour

& relevant, not revenant 

Christa, I planted mine at the beginning of the year, in summer (seed tray first) and had a small harvest of peas by June. Harvest increased and peaked in early October, the plants have had a dry time since and are producing much less at the moment (unsure if that's season, water or goat related). I believe the recommended planting time is spring and summer, but I'd guess that they would grow from seed over a wider time period.

Pigeon Pea is very hardy and survives dry conditions, just don't expect much harvest or growth during the hard times. When they have water and warmth, they grow fast and produce very well. At first I was disappointed by how many peas in a pod and the smaller size, however the number of pea pods produced balance that out.

Uncertain about the anti-wind complement, but curious and must find out more.

I have plenty of seeds if you'd like (Jan's original and now, newer ones from here). I have some seedlings very old and seed tray bound, so I don't know how they'd go.

The ones from me should be the tall ones. I didn't have much luck with the short ones.

I've got quite a few seedlings going so I stand a better chance of getting enough green ones to freeze, as the King Parrots have declared them an "All-you-can-eat-buffet". Now that the trees are finishing up production, I will also try to propagate from them and see how I go.

And these are prolific. If you are lucky, you'll get the ones that grow with light-green, semi-translucent pods, and you'll actually be able to see the developed peas in bright sunlight (instead of having to squeeze each pod to see if it's ready).

I par-cook the green peas, freeze them on a baking tray then store them in bags for quick additions.

Your certainly right about those yams Dave,such a beautiful vine Dianne and myself are both growing as explained in another forum.You should also have a crack at the greater yam another species Im sure you will enjoy growing and eating.As for them spring onions I cant think when I last bought them, so easy cut back numerous times before  planting new ones and perfect to grow in old gutter ,pipes etc in shallow soil.My sweet potatoes although are not doing well ,dont know why as I planted some right by a compost and thinking all the nutrients leaching out would help.Perhaps its a nitrogen drawback scenario,perhaps we all need a bit more stuff to fall out of the sky.Happy gardening mate !

Darren.. Is this the yam you gave me a tuber of at Susan's GV? It has shot up and the foliage is so attractive.

Hi Cathie yes that would be the yam.I believe Roger bought them in to share Thanks Roger! Im pretty sure it was a greater yam as tubers can be difficult to identify whereas the leaves are easier.You should have this  beautiful vine to admire right into winter .

Hi Darren, Yes I think it might be that you have overfed the SP - mine were biggest when no nutrients were added - yes, nitrogen effect. Wait and see..

Potatoes and Tomatoes our Favourites, we eat more of those than anything else. Kiplers are my Fav and Dutch Creams will come a good second. Any ripe tomato that tastes like a tomato should is wonderful. I am going to try my hand at growing Potatoes when the next season comes around, I intend growing them in bags. Any Hints and Tips would be Great???? Good read Dave.


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