Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Beautiful garden, beautiful day, beautiful people! Thank you Susan for opening your garden to us, very inspiring what you can cram in there on a average suburban block.

It was a pleasure visiting Susan's garden again after only a couple of months to see the transition from winter to Spring - my by gosh, could you see the difference! The flowers were exploding with colour and the baby rhubarb was growing lusciously and the Pecan had lovely new foliage. 

As a first time reporter, I grossly underestimated the need to take written notes! I thought I would remember most things, but testament to how packed in Susan's garden was.. I am lost after the first photo! Anyway, no doubt people can help out with species types etc in the comments. 

Back yard, near balcony: Packed in Mango, pineapple sage, strawberries, spring onions near the kitchen so kids can pick.

Down the side, from the backyard: Mulberry (big exercise in self-discipline to not pinch all the juicy ones off!), strawberries in hanging planters (even bigger exertion. Susan intentionally left the plump juicy red ones on for the GV... Temptation Red, like Dianne and Graham's new car haha). Also down the side, raspberries, cherry (! 1 set??) and... lots of other things. You can also see Custard Apple (hopefully fruit for first time this year?), to the right, the berry patch (blueberry, alpine strawberries)

Susan with hanging strawberries (watered once a week, twice in summer)

The bramble under the Custard apple: Volunteer cherry toms, blueberries, alpine strawberries and sweet peas

Asparagus and mac nuts

Spring splendour in the backyard: Roses, hollyhocks and salvia galore!

Fingers crossed: Black sapote!

Backyard: Various citrus including Cumquat (never pruned, always prolific), mandarins and oranges)

 Backyard (still!): Grapes 

The back paddock: Wicking success! Carrots galore

Back paddock: Climbing beans (jack? and purple something?)

Beehive! Susan also explained how she re-strings and also harvests the honey. Yum!


FRONT YARD (yes it continues!!): Lemons :)

Two pics above are the same tree - stonefruit multi-graft from Fruit Salad Trees. And bottom pic also shows lush Rhubarb!

Tropical Apple blossom <3
Apples from the Apple multi-graft

Happy herbs in wicking beds

Passionfruit flavoured chooks


The Annexe: Susan's latest verging with Jap, potkin and (squash) and cosmos

Annnd the happy hippes on the verge with roses, kaffir lime, lemon tree, saba nut, mulberry and panama berry.

Ouff! like I said, a lot going on :)

Food! Dianne's cheese... mmm!!!

My take-home learnings:
- Let sweet potatoes "Cure" a few weeks in the sun to increase sweetness (I was eating straight after harvesting and was getting a floury starch effect

- Carrots love wicking beds with lots of sand

- Flowers make gardens look happy

- Twist and snap off Rhubarb and chard stems, not cut (thought I am cautious of this because my snaps are never clean cut and I feel like I'm massacring the poor plant as the threads rip up the plant. 

- Thin out zucchini leaves to reduce powdery mildew

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I also have a short vid but can't work out how to upload without a youtube account...

Nice work Soph.

great report Sophie on an awesome day. Learnt a lot about different gardening methods and as usual enjoyed good food and good company ! thanks everyone especially Susan for opening her garden and the hippies and Sophie for the sweet potato.... just an aside - got home to find the glass on the hot water system had burst and several cm of water throughout the house - now we are hoping for hot windy days to get the  carpets books and furniture dry ! and hopefully the ( underwarranty) man will come all this way to allow us to turn water back on !!!! so after nearly one year of enjoying turning a tap on its back to bucketing water from the tank which luckily didnt run dry ! 

Bummer Mary-Ann.

Firstly, thanks so much for a simply wonderful time on such a beautiful day. Susan you have crammed so much into your space, I am sure it will be a Fruit Lovers Paradise when you have finished and all your trees grow to maturity . Thanks so much for allowing us to re-visit your garden again.

Secondly, Sophie your report is great reading and the photos tell the story. You have surely captured the essence of Susan's Magnificent Garden. I might have to call on you again some time to do a another report.

Lastly the Calendar for 2017 is in the process of being put together, so please if you would like to have a GV, we have many spots available. Please your garden need not be a masterpiece or manicured. We are simply looking for gardens of members who would enjoy other members to perhaps give advice on New or Old Gardens, Planting Suggestions, Aquaculture, Permaculture, etc. or simply for you to give us a tour of your garden. It would be lovely to have our New Member request a GV (Garden Visit). Please make a Friend of me (if not already) and send a PM (Personal Message) if Interested.

Dianne, I would really love it if some new or newer members would have a garden visit. We have had 3 and while I enjoyed each one, it is time for others to take 'our spot'.

I know it is tricky when a new member and not knowing many or any folk in the established organisation, to know if they are treading on someone's 'corns' or 'empire'. So far no one has an 'empire' in BLF fortunately, it is the most easy-going organisation that I know. No competition or people standing to make money as it is in the dog world e.g.

So step up newer members! Everyone has their own idea of how this or that works. By swapping ideas we learn all the time. And the social side and the food are both wonderful and if for no other purpose, a reason to make the trip to wherever for the next garden visit.

Hi Elaine, we do actually have some new members offering to have GV's it is just the sorting out of dates that suit them. Anymore newies who want to host a GV can do so as mentioned on the Garden Visit Site.


Mary-Ann I am so sorry to hear of your tank problem yesterday. Here's hoping for wind out your way today. It is very windy here today. I do hope some of that water made it into the garden. Did your friends enjoy the cheese?

not sure what happened to our earlier reply so heres hoping I dont repeat myself - by the time we left our friends there was no cheese left and we had gone through two packets of rice crackers so everyone was very happy and loved the cheese- 

re wind yes its been windy here so all the doors windows etc are open fans on and washing machine has gone mad - its student free day so i had to go to work this morning but have spent all afternnon waiting for mr fix it - but its a waranty job so no show yet ! no water yet ! still one lives in hope that sometime today tomorrow or next year we will have a solution - carpets are still soaking though we have been mopping all day even the fire is lite and roaring trying to dry them out ! my new quilt I am 3/4 way through making is hanging on the line drying and my knitting and other craft work are hanging thoughout the house ! several books have been thrown out - the ones on the bottom shelves are ruined ( good excuse to have a clean out ) and  some of the good timber furniture Col made should be able to be repaired so alls well as long as we can get the carpets dry ! 

Nice reports and pics of an awesome garden.

Very good report Sophie :) Couldn't be there but this is the next best thing.

The garden! My goodness it is thriving Susan. You have made a wonderful oasis.


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