Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Elaine de Saxe's Blog (91)

Turmeric Harvest 2018

Whether pronounced 'termeric' or 'tewmeric' ... it's a great spice.

Quietly growing away since November 2017 and dug up yesterday. I was very surprised to find the whole crop was 8.5 kilos. And with the fattest 'fingers' I've grown.

The particular variety is known as 'orange' to distinguish it from the 'yellow' rhizome, which is much favoured so I'm told, by Indian cooks. I don't know its correct varietal name so 'orange' it is.

The plants ready to harvest:…


Added by Elaine de Saxe on July 8, 2018 at 22:00 — 3 Comments

We said "Send her down, Huey" and Huey Obliged ;-)

Whoever 'Huey' may be ...

The local Butcherbirds prefer to wait out the rain under shelter on the back patio:

The back tank full to overflowing:

Pelting down at the back:…


Added by Elaine de Saxe on February 25, 2018 at 14:00 — 2 Comments

Little Machine, Mighty Result

Some years back we bought a small electric mulcher. Of oriental persuasion, the mulcher has whirred on ... and on ...

Through a change of blades - thoughtfully provided with double-sided blades, a strong arm and some know-how allows the blade life to be extended without the hassle of sharpening the blade.

The machine comes with a pusher. Another two indispensible tools are a device to poke choked-up material from the discharge chute and a whisk to clean out the cutting…


Added by Elaine de Saxe on November 13, 2017 at 12:00 — 5 Comments

Pruning the Asparagus

There's a way to extend the cutting season for Asparagus. Prune the plants after they flower, top up the nutrients to encourage them to re-grow and cut again for the pot.

This system can deliver fresh shoots three times in the course of the summer.

This year I have left some young stems which so far are not showing signs of flowering. Usually I clear fell, but observation suggests not all stems are going to flower.…


Added by Elaine de Saxe on November 13, 2017 at 12:00 — 1 Comment

Severe Thunderstorms recorded north of us and south of us in Deception Bay.

Started out being a brief update for Friday 22nd September 2017. Has grown into a mini-blog so I have transferred all the responses and deleted the original.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe yesterday…


Added by Elaine de Saxe on September 23, 2017 at 22:34 — 3 Comments

Fun and Games With Monto Vetiver Grass

There's been some good info in the photograph comments so to keep the topic handy for future reference, I've pasted the comments into a separate post.

Andy asked what I am going to do with the cut Vetiver ...

'Short-term stockpile for mulch. I had thought of trying Ruth Stout's system of using hay, substituting the Vetiver I have for the hay I don't have. I will never be able to grow enough Vetiver to make enough hay! So I'm back to just mulching with the Vetiver and it…


Added by Elaine de Saxe on July 4, 2017 at 10:00 — 10 Comments

Homoeopathy in the Garden

One of my major health interests is Homoeopathy which I studied for 3 years part time although never became a registered Homoeopath in private practise.

A 200 year old modality still going strong in many countries. And now entering a new phase that of improving the health of plants.

The article is partly from a book with some additions and was part of a newsletter from …


Added by Elaine de Saxe on May 15, 2017 at 21:00 — 3 Comments

Elephant Garlic

Andy's photo of his emerging Elephant Garlic has given us the opportunity to discuss its growing habits in more detail.

I've had a quick gallop among my blog posts hoping to find one I'd already written. Maybe I have and I just don't have the patience to scroll through them all.

Anyway ... pasting the two responses from under Andy's photo:

'Right Andy - Elephant Garlic has a 3-step life cycle. The big bulbs you planted are the end product although other parts of…


Added by Elaine de Saxe on May 12, 2017 at 11:30 — 5 Comments

Fun Dog

Wish I knew what park uses this sign ... made my day.

Added by Elaine de Saxe on November 29, 2016 at 18:36 — 8 Comments

Caper White Butterfly Migration

For only the second time ever (for me), the Caper Whites are migrating. Reading about them, they do it frequently so it's pot-luck if you see them.

The first migration I saw was in Brisbane while driving down Cornwall Street Annerley, clouds of them were heading steadily north-east. As indeed they are today and for several days since, white butterflies are fluttering by in Deception Bay.

Some have come into my yard and are sipping nectar from the Lucerne. There are a number of…


Added by Elaine de Saxe on November 6, 2016 at 10:00 — 9 Comments

Indian Red Eggplant

Bought the seeds from the guy at Gin Gin, forget his name :-(

An elegant little plant not looking much like a traditional Eggplant (Aubergine). Smaller leaf, more compact growth. And in full flight with a half-dozen ripe fruit, looks like a small Christmas tree.

Easy enough to grow in the Eggplant fashion - plenty of minerals, gypsum and water. So far has not been attacked by those lady-bird look-alikes which munch the leaves.

I never salt Eggplant slices and I always…


Added by Elaine de Saxe on November 5, 2016 at 17:00 — 17 Comments

Garlic 2016

Continuing to use Morayfield Magic, originally from Malta but grown locally for many years. It's a softneck variety with good flavour and keeps sound for around 9 months from harvest.

Planted the cloves on 21st April. Twenty-four down, 23 harvested on 10th September 2016. Two were very slow to sprout and produced only very small bulbs.

They are planted in full sun, alternating between two wicking beds. This time I allowed the 'weeds' to be the 'volunteer cover crop'.…


Added by Elaine de Saxe on September 12, 2016 at 0:30 — 11 Comments

Springing Out in DBay

For the first time I am growing dwarf low chill stone fruit. I bought 4, the only standard one died from maybe my inexpert pruning. Anyway there's 3 left, all blooming amazingly just now. Two are single small blooms one is a large double. I'm growing them for fruit but the blooms really are a delight to behold.

Anyway, some pix of the peach and nectarine flowers and baby fruit:…


Added by Elaine de Saxe on August 26, 2016 at 16:30 — 13 Comments

Winter 2016 - a little update

Just a few pix from the garden at the back ...

Dandelion in full swing. Originally bought a plant from Caboolture Seed Savers. It seeded all over the yard then was gone. Unaccountably, several tiny starving plants popped up on the front footpath. Took this one and fed it up, it's having a great time now:

Dwarf Nectarine starting to bloom. Been a year in…


Added by Elaine de Saxe on August 7, 2016 at 0:01 — 7 Comments


It's not often that I have a majority of home-grown veges to add to a meal. This time the eggs are from Cathie's hens as is the sourdough bread. Making it something to crow about ;-)

The ingredients - L to R: eggs as mentioned with Sugar Snap Peas in the lid, Collard leaf (only the one!),  Capsicum self-sown and so sweet, various Lettuce leaves, perennial Leek.…


Added by Elaine de Saxe on July 2, 2016 at 16:52 — 3 Comments

That Bean, Late DF crop and Those Whiskers

Jack and the not-Beanstalk ;-) It's the new-to-us Jack Bean from the seeds given to Lissa recently. Anyway it's growing well except that 'something or someone' is busy skeletonising the leaves. Whether I'm growing this plant in the right place (western-facing) or in the right season is anyone's guess right now. I'm not a fan of the beans themselves but it's good to grow something on the trellis until it's time to grow the Tatume squash. So hoping that there…


Added by Elaine de Saxe on March 20, 2016 at 17:30 — 7 Comments

The Ripeness of Figs

It is truly frustrating that Figs along with Dragon Fruit and Pineapples, really do not ripen after picking. Unlike Mangoes and stone fruit, you cannot pick Figs at a mature age and let them ripen away from bugs and beasties in the house.

So far, I have not had to resort to bags. And so far I have not had fruit fly in the figs. Long may they both remain so.

This morning I picked 2 Black Genoa figs - one was a day behind the other.

I look for colour and stem - if the…


Added by Elaine de Saxe on January 19, 2016 at 8:51 — 9 Comments

Walking Onions and Potato Onions

How did you all fare with these Onions?

What I harvested was hardly worth the bother. I haven't weighed them since most of the crop is roots and layer upon layer of papery tissue.

It takes real commitment to get to the fruit of the plant's labours. There is, like Corn, just so much compostible material and so little crop. Although of the 2, I'd prefer the Corn ;-)

Fwiw pix of both and an attempt to show the many layers of tissues which need to be peeled away…


Added by Elaine de Saxe on December 20, 2015 at 16:47 — 7 Comments

From Fruit to Pie: Making Tomato Sauce, part 1.

After being inspired by Jan to look further into making Tomato puree, today was my first attempt.

The Romas are still fruiting and ripening; I expect the whole crop to be finished in a week or so.

Today I pureed the first batch to ripen.

There was 1.4 kilos of whole fruit, just washed and inspected for flaws.

Yield was 1L and 150mls of puree.



Added by Elaine de Saxe on October 23, 2015 at 10:30 — 3 Comments

Important note about adding photos:

Always add photos using the "From my computer" option, even if you are on a mobile phone or other device.


  • Add Photos
  • View All


  • Add Videos
  • View All


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.

Place your business add here! ($5 per month or $25 for 9 months)

Talk to Andy on 0422 022 961.  You can  Pay on this link

© 2021   Created by Andrew Cumberland.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service