Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

A lot of us made our way over to Roger's place today to see his garden.  We started of course with good food and the swap table.

Roger's yard is very large so obviously one of the obstacles he has to overcome is how to get water everywhere.  His answer -> he doesn't, he rely's on mother nature for the fruit trees.  It would be heartbreaking to see the flowers develop every year just to waste away to nothing and when he showed us his soil as well, it was clear that even if he could get water to them, it would take a lot to keep them moist.

That said, there were some things that were thriving.  Seed grown mango surrounded by some struggling pumpkins.

The grumichama had little fruit on it and I was pleased to hear that they were really nice and cherry like.   

Jaboticaba had abundant fruit on its bark

White Sapote looked prolific.

While Roger also grows lychees, he grows Longan's as well and reckons that they seem to be a bit hardier for his climate.  The flowers are developing quite nicely on this one. 

He also has lots of other fruit trees in that awful soil but it broke my heart looking at them - He is a much more stoic gardener than I - I couldn't deal with the disappointment of waiting for rain every year to set the crops and then watch them wither and die as no rainfall to support developing fruit. 

We then moved on to his wicking bins for the Avocado's.  Look!! He has fruit!! I nearly got my fingers smacked - Roger was afraid that I was going to knock them off.  Figs are also grown in the same area to help shade the Avo's bins. 

The first vegie patch was next.  All in raised beds of some type ranging from old bath tubs to fiberglass pods.  Carrots and strawberries and KALE!!

What's with the cages, you ask?  Well to add insult to injury, Roger also has to deal with possums, rats and RABBITS!!!

Corn is looking real good!

We made our way over to the other patch.  A few of us by this stage had wandered back to the house to escape the heat.  Yep 35 degrees by this stage.  Didn't the poor pumpkins show it - I counted 6 on this vine. 

His famous PVC tubes for growing carrots - needing to come out as they bake in this heat according to Roger. 

Some potato's and passionfruit seedlings in another of his wicking bins. 

We then went to his next fruit area where he has grapes (muscadines), more figs, carambola, aniseed (?) myrtle, pomegranite, carob and arrowroot planted.  Apparently this area has better soil and as it is closer to the house, probably gets watered a bit more.  By this stage, we were melting and headed back to the house through a cute little pathway under the shade of a big Jacaranda that offered us some relief from the heat.  

Thanks so much for your hospitality today.  To see what other gardeners have to deal with and the perseverance that you go through Roger is inspiring and makes me appreciate my very tiny but easily watered and good soil block of land that much more. 

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Replies to This Discussion

Thanks Susan.  I've grown some in large pots but found that the softness of the potting mix makes them fair game for creatures of the night.  I guess the tubes also protect them from that fate.  Not sure how it would affect water.

If you have some pails maybe you could put a few tubes into that and drill an overflow hole in the pail and make it effectively a wicking system.


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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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