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Dave Riley's Blog (209)

The Climbers & Ladders Gallery

A feature I love about my outback is the system of aerials and ladders that support climbers of any type I plant.

In true polycultural bent I can run a climber UP almost anywhere and mix it with other plants at its base.

When finished with, climber stems and leaves make for good mulch, but always trim them for obedience.…

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Added by Dave Riley on April 18, 2019 at 10:00 — 8 Comments

Vetiver Coastal Project #1

We grew on the Vetiver beforehand -- inside cells --in a mix of the sand from the site  and composted cow…
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Added by Dave Riley on April 13, 2019 at 17:00 — 3 Comments

You Gotta Start Somewhere: The Kitchen Garden has changed a lot in 9 years

I just discovered some photoes of my 'garden' 9 years ago. That is,when it did not exist. Now, it is a jungle. Such that it is hard to imagine it ever being so empty.

Switch to…

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Added by Dave Riley on April 12, 2019 at 3:30 — 1 Comment

Who needs a physiotherapist when you have dirt calling you to garden labour?

I've always had  a garden when I was living in a house. A food growing vegetable and herb garden was my habit.

And I've always cooked since I started batching it. With a longstanding preference for Middle Eastern foods, I developed quite a skillset.

Then when I fell ill 33 years ago I combined the two obsessions.

I grew things to eat -- of course…

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Added by Dave Riley on April 4, 2019 at 14:00 — 3 Comments

Vetiver (and sundries) in the Home Garden

Getting there...

As I prep the beds for 'Autumn' -- albeit a hot & sweaty task -- the Vetiver hedges have reached a stage where they are becoming true enclosures.

Wee packets of soil they are.

I've only recently trimmed the hedges for mulch and split some of the clumps to supply stock for a local community plant-out along the…

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Added by Dave Riley on March 17, 2019 at 17:30 — 3 Comments

The common ground are the greens.

I've always viewed my garden as a Kitchen Garden where what I grow is determined by what I eat. That perspective has waxed and waned over the years as periods of experimentation set in, only later to pass.

Ironically, my most recent menu advance was not located outback, but grew indoors instead.

When I started sprouting mung beans near the wash…

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Added by Dave Riley on February 16, 2019 at 21:30 — 12 Comments

On the Homefront

I finally got around to prepping the school garden for the return of the children next week. It survived the Summer graciously.

The beds we did not cover with weed mat, I carpeted with harvested Vetiver mulch and they've done OK -- not much in way of weeds.

Hardly any '…

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Added by Dave Riley on January 23, 2019 at 22:30 — 3 Comments

My Tortilla Press & I

I think I have made the transition to 'flat breads'.

It all began with my passion for Knäckebröd (Swedish style rye crisp [as in flat & hard] bread)...

Still make 'em. Still love 'em.

Gotta  always have  Knäckebröd on hand.

With the invested practice I can quickly put together a batch of these…

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Added by Dave Riley on January 4, 2019 at 12:30 — 2 Comments

VETIVER HEDGEROWS

After harvesting the Vetiver hedges for mulch, I approached a level of neatness and order that I, for one, am not used to.

It may not be topiary but the plan is to take the trimmed hedges to a height that will keep the chooks off the beds when they free range.…

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Added by Dave Riley on December 16, 2018 at 10:50 — 4 Comments

Vetiver Ventures Continue

Since I'm now working on a couple of Vetiver projects around town, I thought that -- with the impending growth season -- I'd launch forth in a community friendly way.

I won't have enough stock if my foreshore restoration/protection plantings survive the sand, King tides and any storm surges. I'll sure to have my…

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Added by Dave Riley on November 22, 2018 at 20:14 — 2 Comments

It's finally happened: a kimchi fridge

Neighbours are moving overseas so, as befits the occasion, a garage sale was called.

And I got myself a bar fridge el cheapo.

You are looking at  my new home at home for kimchi, sweet pepper paste and sundried tomatoes -- with fermented squid on the bottom shelf.

[I haven't had the courage to try the squid yet ...just saying so if I poison…

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Added by Dave Riley on November 6, 2018 at 21:56 — 2 Comments

Ferment updates: KimChi, Knäckebröd & Filmjölk

I spent last night outback on the veranda making a batch of kimchi from 4 wombok cabbages. The radish, spring onions and carrots  that I used were my own outback harvest.

The complication is that when I ran out of on-hand supplies I had to venture out into the darkness and pouring rain to pick some more.

My previous batch was made from my own cabbages but none…

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Added by Dave Riley on October 14, 2018 at 3:23 — 2 Comments

The Drought

I just spent a couple of days out on the Western Downs. While I was away we had 20 mm of rain here at home, and another 16 mm fell tonight after we returned.

But around Chinchilla it is dry  as drought is.

The cattle are scrawny. Even the brumbies are ring barking the trees as  they chew off the bark to sustain themselves and many dead kangaroos dot the roadside because they put themselves at pedestrian risk in their hunt for food.

On the drive back we must have seen…

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Added by Dave Riley on October 8, 2018 at 22:39 — 8 Comments

September rhymes with Remember: the garden is green and makes a pleasant scene in September to remember.

Images more for me than for anyone else, September registers as green. That's despite the dry weather over the Wintering.

What with this and that, I've run out of things to do.

Nonetheless...

The Milk Crate 'garden' has been extended with more herbs planted and experimental Goji berry bushes. I needs my supply of thyme and oregano -- my fix.

After…

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Added by Dave Riley on September 7, 2018 at 19:00 — 8 Comments

Winter Passes -- not that we noticed outback.

The renovations are proceeding as I embrace a new gardening template.Jungling habits remain.

This is looking south along a Vetiver bordered pathway.

I think I'm finally developing a serviceable tomato rig.

Analogy: kelp forest.

Love this image. Captures the garden's magic.

Looking south from the back veranda…

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Added by Dave Riley on August 16, 2018 at 10:30 — 2 Comments

The garden is working so well in my favour

I harvested mulch from my Vetiver hedges today now that the grass clippings are no longer available -- as lawns are in hiatus -- as are lawnmower men.

A new system of carpeting soil is upon me as I laid out the stems over one of my productive beds.

Beats weeding.

This time of year the chickweed drives me crazy.

I also planted out seeds -- yes seeds! -- for potato onion and perennial leeks which I got from a specialty nursery in Bendigo.  In the meantime my most…

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Added by Dave Riley on July 9, 2018 at 1:06 — No Comments

Hanging About the Garden

A walk around the happenings in the garden is to experience a lot of up and down.

There are a lot of plants hanging about. Hangers on -- attaching themselves to on-hand climbing or clambering things.

Nowadays every new seedling I plant is marked with a stick.

It a dog defence.…

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Added by Dave Riley on June 15, 2018 at 18:10 — 3 Comments

The earth moves at my feet.

This time of year it's lazy days.

The weeds don't thrive. Irrigation needs are forgiving. Plants grow in their own good time...

Mind you, seeds are slow to sprout . But if you are patient, the harvests keep a'comin.

Best time of year: no question. Here in SEQ at least.

Despite my best efforts I still have some empty spaces left…

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Added by Dave Riley on June 4, 2018 at 22:54 — 1 Comment

Capturing the garden going about its everyday business...

It always seem to happen that I can never capture the garden in a photograph.

It's messy and jungle-like and green merges into green so that it is always hard to distinguish the species of plants one from t'other.

But I've tried...

Captured en route to…

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Added by Dave Riley on May 20, 2018 at 19:00 — 7 Comments

My new garden 'plan' -- green aspirations in motion with snakes and ladders, Vetiver and stuff.

Now that the mulch has settled and the seedlings are tucked up in their beds I can play the lord of the manor -- and tweak my vista.

Herein is an exposé of the underlying principles that my good self have concocted within the juicy confines of my fertile brain.

The Story So Far

My old garden was…

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Added by Dave Riley on May 6, 2018 at 22:00 — 19 Comments

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GrowVetiver

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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