Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

April - the month that can't agree on what season it is.

Hi Guys, 

Well what a month: torrential rain with 34 degree days -> aka "summer" vs 19 degree days and really cool -> Aka Autumn/Winter.   I know this is pretty much par for the course in April but seriously!! Where did these last few days of heat come from?

I have had a very busy time up at the farm.  We went up over easter and lucky we did as it was raining and we realised the van was leaking!  So I came back home for two days and was up there again Tuesday night, all on my own, with a solid plan of attack.  I stayed there until Saturday and boy did I work hard.  I was up on that roof, chiseling out bitumen like stuff from around all the seams and joins and then taped it all back up again with butyrate flashing tape  that a lot of the van renovating forums seem to recommend.  That took me 3 days - not all day as I couldn't be up on a metal roof in that heat in the middle of the day but I was up there from about 6am to 10 -11 am every day.  I also wanted to put in a "proper" shower cubicle - one that I don't have to be scared of snakes creeping up on me from the dense bushes under the tree where our current shower is set up.  I had to dig 5 holes and then mix up bags of cement to fill them - you need to realise that this also entails me carting buckets of water around the farm cause that's all I got.  I also did some gardening - I started with weeding my very long back garden bed.  I then  went and got a round massive sugar cane bale for $40!!!! (facebook market!) I also bought some compost in and I had my 4 free trees from BCC that I get every year with rates and I had some sun loving bromeilieds that I got from my mother ages ago that needed planting out as part of my fence/hedge.  I had a coffee tree that Valerie had given me at Sid's garden visit, some sweet potato slips, cassava, choko and some avocado seeds that I thought "What the hell - give it a go" that all needed planting.  I love looking at facebook market place and it just so happened that there was a guy selling excess sheppard and hass avocado trees for $10!! So I drove out west for 20 min and low and behold, there are avocado farms galore up that way that you would never have guessed were there.  This guy grafts and sells to farmers but had too many excess this year for his orders so was selling them cheap. BARGAIN!  As you can imagine, I was one very exhausted girl coming home on Saturday arvo. 

I came home to my beautiful 7 year old papaya tree lying over the fence and all her beautiful fruit dumped on the ground!!  As you can imagine, this was the last thing I needed on Saturday! Oh well, it is what it is. 

So I now have a million green papaya's that need to be used up.  I made Adobo chicken for dinner tonight and our "vegetable" was cubed green papaya that simmered down in the sauce until it was soft.  I thought it was delicious and there was no complaints from the kids so at least that's one down out of the pile in my house. 

Oh!! The other thing I did up at the farm was went guava foraging.  I came home and made guava jelly but despite me boiling it twice with added pectin the second time, it still has not set.  It does taste delicious though!

Remember me saying I might have broccoli in April? Just look at me!!! I am a gardening QUEEN!!  It may be on the smallish side but it might get bigger as it has only just popped it's head up. 

I don't think I'm going to be getting much more beans.  The first shot is from about 1.5 weeks ago and I was starting to lose some beans to some sort of disease on them.  Now, with all the rain, I'm barely getting any good ones.  Oh well, it was good while it lasted.  That was also the last cucumber as my plants got completely covered in aphids and caterpillars.  But that's ok, as you can see in the second shot, my cucamelons are now entirely productive.  That little harvest was after "one for me, one for the basket" kind of harvesting :)

Lastly, I'll show you this beautiful plant I grew from cuttings I got from one of our garden visits.  It is so beautiful and if anyone knows the name of it, I'd greatly appreciate it.  

Well  that's it from me guys.  Can't wait to see you all at my garden visit on Saturday .  Don't forget, I'll have lots of strawberry plants so bring something to take them home with you. 

Happy gardening folks. 

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Comment by Sophie on April 13, 2021 at 12:20


PS it's Salvia leucantha, the Mexican bush sage

Comment by Christa on April 12, 2021 at 11:24

You have done well, fixing a roof is a grubby job, the block will look good this spring with the things you have planted.  Those baskets of fruit and vegies look good, enough for your gang.  Do you think it was too wet for the pawpaw tree?  Is there any way to use the green leaf from broccoli, as it is a big plant. 

Comment by Dianne Caswell on April 12, 2021 at 9:21

My Goodness Susan, You really are an innovative, industrious girl aren't you, please do be careful when you are up on the Farm by yourself. You need a pendant like I have to wear around my neck when Graham is out (just in case of falls, everyone knows I'm the  biggest Fall's Risk). Well anyway look after yourself and I am so pleased to hear that you are having a good time up the Farm.

If you want to use up your Green Pawpaws there are many good Green Pawpaw Recipes on the Net. Also about your Guava Jelly it is beautiful used as a syrup for Pork Spare Ribs & Chops, Ice-Cream also there is a product that Ball make that is much better than Jam Setter, I got mine from Aussie Mason Jars.

Comment by Mary-Ann Baker on April 12, 2021 at 5:07

wow you have been busy we grate our green pawpaws for thai salad yum. easy -add prawns or grilled fish and a meal ready! Have some broad leaf pawpaws ( almost black spot resistent ) seedlings we are bringing on saturday - . 7 years is along time for a pawpaw to stand..well done.... you are lucky is one in the bucket one in the mouth here its all for the kids and non for the bucket.... doing and experiment here this year Annette McFarlene lives a few kms away and says she grows corn beans etc all year around so here goes! .. 

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on April 11, 2021 at 22:20

I once turned up at your place on Saturday for a Sunday GV - which I then missed.  Yeah, don't feel bad.  LOL. 

Comment by Susan on April 11, 2021 at 22:04

Ooops! It is too a Saturday!! Oh my, I’m shocking at dates!!! I once flew to Sydney a whole week early for a birthday tcause I am that useless - just one of many times I’ve stuffed up!!! I fixed it in the blog and I will now make sure I’m ready to have everyone over Saturday.  Lol.  

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on April 11, 2021 at 19:45

That plant in the last pic is Lissa's purple salvia. Rozie loves the stuff.  Ya still producing pretty well, crazy weather and all Susan.  Hang on... isn't the visit on Saturday not Sunday???!!!!!!

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