Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

The wired frame for my tomato plants collapsed today and had to be rebuilt. Too much weight - loaded with tomatoes! As usual, I've been too greedy and not spaced out the seedlings properly.

The experimental upside-down tomato plant is also fruiting, but not as well as the ones in the ground. Under the tomato basket, I've lined a trench with comfrey leaves and will put in a few potatoes.

Picked the last radish - it was a whopper.

I've already sown another row of radishes on the other side of the silverbeet, seedlings are coming up nicely. although they're looking a bit drowned by the downpours we've had over the last few days. I sowed some carrot seeds in the old radish row about 2 weeks ago, but no signs of life (sigh)... Haven't had much luck with carrots, but try try try again. Same thing with beans - only 2 have come up and are flowering. But.. a couple of selfseeded purple kings are struggling bravely amongst the tomatoes and have produced a few beans -

Snow peas are doing well, again crowded by lettuces -

We've been eating kale almost everyday (thanks Chris, for introducing it to me!), and alas, I've crowded them with garlic, mustard greens, raddichio, mint, not realising they would grow so vigorously.

The bokchoy and tatsoi are also welcome additions to the stirfrys and noodlefrys.

Now in my taro hunt, we spotted these in the swampy ground beside the road - do they look like the real thing? Someone told me that the edible plant has a little purple spot on the leaf and yes there's a spot!

It's such a lovely time of the year, and such a thrill that we are now mostly self sufficient with veges and fruit (pawpaws, bananas and custard apples), only need to buy carrots, potatoes and onions!

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Comment by Donna on May 30, 2009 at 14:04
Wow looks really great Addy one day I hope to be half as organised as you!

I know what you mean about tomatoes, I always underspace things too - last year (in summer) ended up with heaps of problems because of not enough air circulation - but still didn't learn my lesson have just planted four seedlings along 2.4m which is the same as last time (maybe it will be better in the winter lol).
Comment by Scarlett on May 27, 2009 at 12:13
i think they will have tubers still, i think the problem is they have high enough levels of the oxalic acid to make them dodgy as edibles. possibly the other pigments might affect the culinary experience in some way as well. you could try soaking them overnight, throwing the water out and then cooking...? not sure. elizabeth fekonia (site member, you could ask her) says in her book "the cocoyam that has purple or brown coloured stems is not suitable for eating. Choose only leaves that green or pink stems." her website is - might have more info, i haven't checked
Comment by Addy on May 24, 2009 at 21:27
yes, they're romas - Chris kindly got the seedlings for me from the Caboolture markets. So you reckon those "elephant ears" won't have lovely fat tubers? What a pity...
Comment by Scarlett on May 24, 2009 at 18:39
nice looking tomatoes - romas?
Comment by Scarlett on May 24, 2009 at 18:38
yes chris, your vegies do grow giant. i've only ever had humungus silverbeet and potatoes (on old market garden soil in thornbury in melbourne). otherwise when things are normal shop size i'm impressed - generally everything is slightly smaller for me: often about 2/3 size. although I hope my new secret weapon (the hose!) might help, and i'm going to build up a soil based garden next to the no dig garden so i can put things that like heavier soil in there.
Comment by Scarlett on May 24, 2009 at 17:29
oh and that looks like ornamental taro - the edible one is usually just light green or bluish green. i think the dark stemmed ones are not so good to eat.
Comment by Scarlett on May 24, 2009 at 17:28
hanging baskets are great for strawberries - it actually encourages fruiting and the birds find it harder to ruin the fruit
yes - same with me, we only buy potatoes and onions . it's amazing isn't it? i love it.
Comment by Addy on May 24, 2009 at 17:22
hey Chris, don't forget, your vegies grow twice the size of mine! There are lots of websites showing how to plant tomatoes upside-down in buckets, but the one I followed is this:
I might try the bucket method with an eggplant seedling!
Comment by christopher zane hart on May 23, 2009 at 22:13
the kale will beat the rest they should get 2-3 times that size .
Comment by christopher zane hart on May 23, 2009 at 22:11
I mite try the hanging basket tomato myself . great idea .

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