Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Both of our computers have been out of action for the last few weeks - and I'm still trying to get them up and running. Sigh.

We've been very busy in the garden though. I've moved the pea trellis (as they have finished) and planted some blue lake climbing beans. I'll also plant some snake beans here soon. I've planted peanuts (from an african food store so we'll see if they germinate - they're local Australian and they are very fresh, and no blemishes, so fingers crossed) at the base of them, and some tomatoes my daughter brought home from pre-school, and some corn and japanese pumpkin seeds too (with half a bag of Kriedemann farm chicken manure added for the latter two). It's adjacent to the clothesline so I can only add clothes from one half and I have to watch what I hang on the outer lines/ wind it up to its highest setting, but that's OK - I'd rather have the planting room.


I found a Phillipino import store in McWhirters in the valley mall. I love these stores - so many interesting new products and ways of using food you can grow. I bought pandan essence for coconut sweets, shrimp paste, some sort of fermented coconut marinade thing, and some other yummy things, although I forget now. I was particularly taken with the preserves and pickles and things. Check these out.






It's bad timing, given the hot weather, but every time we harvest a bunch of bananas you need to cut the stalk it was on to the ground. There is always another one half grown to replace it (I keep two suckers growing at any given time per plant and cut the rest off) but you lose a lot of shade. I also cut the pigeon pea back because all the seed pods finally ripened. It's cost me a lot of shade for the vegie garden - but I'm hoping that the pigeon pea and the bananas will both come back quickly in this hot weather (especially if it keeps raining!). It's the worst possible timing though - just now is the hottest time really, because the vegies don't suffer as much when it's humid, and the temperate things are all gone by summer anyway.





Here is what we cut off.


I put it all on a tarp and shelled them. Actually I'm still going, it's a big job. I tried waiting for a few days to see if the pods would open up but no luck. Also they're not brittle enough to just squash open which is a pity. As a consequence about half of them need to be shelled by hand - the rest have opened up by themselves because they were ripe enough on the bush.



Once I have all the peas out I'll need to shake all the frazz off through a colander. Then I will make dhal. I know lentils are like $2 at the produce store, but the thrill of anti-consuming is pretty good.


I've pulled up all our spuds now - had to make way for the jersualem artichoke. I also had another dig around in the sweet potato patch and there are about 4 zillion under there - and some are enormous. It's astonishing as we never watered them and it didn't rain. The driveway is downhill from our vegie garden though - it may have been getting sub-surface moisture from any run off from the garden (but given how hard it's been to keep the water up to the vegie garden i'd be surprised).


There are also some pathetic brussel sprouts here. I give up. This plant was planted last year ( I kept it over the summer) - I thought that it might produce better in its second winter - nope. Not even with decent frost this year.


I didn't know what this was for ages - I thought it might be a daikon radish (I forget what seeds I've thrown around fairly quickly). It's a swede. I still have two or three more coming on too. No parsnip this year :(
(too dry for germination).


I love having free breakfast (and dessert) from the garden.


I've planted corn, peanuts and japanese pumpkin (all seeds), and bagged up some fruit on the lychee tree (fingers crossed). My waterchestnuts are getting quite big and the rhubarb is still small and struggling :( My yakon is small and obviously needs more water than it's getting.

I'm very happy it finally rained - our tank is 1/3 full (it's only on one quarter of the roof for various reasons). The pecan is getting big and looking good, the passionfruit is coming back well, and the citrus seems to be growing well. I almost lost our kaffir lime tree again (it doesn't get watered and it's in a pot) but spotted it all wilted and brown and drenched it so fingers crossed it will come back well as it has done in the past.

happy gardening people :)
SJP

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Comment by Scarlett on November 2, 2009 at 22:48
the chooks don't eat the pigeon peas. I think they are too stupid. they don't eat sunflower seeds from the garden either. maybe they're too big because they are bantams?

i'm using the fruit fly bags from green harvest - they're basically white paper bags with a twist tie attached. they're semi translucent and stand up to the wet pretty welll, also reusable - a good purchase i reckon
Comment by Florence on November 2, 2009 at 17:00
Looks great~~
Indeed interesting pickles, and I found adding shrimp paste to clear noodle soup makes the soup taste a bit like Tom yum soup ^^

Couple of questions:-

Do you feed your chooks pigeon peas?

What do you bag your lychee fruits with? I’ve got a longan tree, and I was thinking about making bags for them but didn’t get around to, so I’ve been thinking about using old pillow cases.. .. Which probably is going to look weird but it’s in the backyard and I really want to get some fruits this time..

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