Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

After a lot of messing about we decided to go ahead and buy some Banana plants. We’d been dickering for years about that - have them down the front (no fence) and expect the bunch to walk by itself. Have them at the back and in wet weather it’s ankle deep in water and stays wet for weeks being on a clay base. Anyway, dang it ... we want some of our own Bananas! And finding that we could get a dwarf which is not a Cavendish sealed the deal. Ordered 1 just before last winter and it spent the winter in a self-watering pot surrounded by bubble-wrap. Meantime we found two spots, built them up and added lots of to-be-composted household scraps with Sugarcane and Biochar. This is our solution to ‘wet feet’ - remains to be seen how it all works. Then we figured we might not live long enough to get several suckers from the one plant to make some more so we ordered another 3, delivered a couple of months ago. We planted some Comfrey in the bed too and despite some very hot days, it has done well. Roll on Banana bunches!

The Pumpkin plant which came up all by itself in just the right place, turned out to be a hybrid “Japbutt”, seeds from one which Jessica gave to us. It was a very tasty Pumpkin. The yield was 6 ranging from 900 grams to nearly 2 kg. The little Butternut was the only one from a bought plant.

We’ve just removed and mulched the Persimmon. Although it had produced well, the fruit was always very small. There’s some photos in my albums of it and the fruit. Last year I gave it a treatment of Tree Paste from Green Harvest. Similar to Biodynamic Tree Paste I believe. The tree never looked better with large glossy green leaves and dozens of flowers. I in my wisdom decided to remove about half of the crop expecting that they would be bigger. Nah, it’s a small variety it seems. Tasty and seedless but small. So out it came and the trellis is going to have the winter Pea plants climbing on it - seeds from Lissa of a particularly sweet and crunchy Sugar Snap climber. Roll on winter!

Next to the Persimmon are two of the 5 Dragon Fruit plants. They are coming along quite well. I am going to plant the 2 Air Potatoes to give the DFs some shade and the Babaco behind the trellis - the trellis is exposed to the west and it can be quite fierce sometimes and the Babaco likes some shelter.

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Comment by Elaine de Saxe on February 14, 2012 at 15:21

So far so good with wet feet - the beds are raised a bit whether enough if we get serious amounts of rain, remains to be seen. We've had over a foot of rain in that last lot but spread over a few days so the back yard which is level and clay-based was able to drain enough for us to walk on.

Comment by ness on February 14, 2012 at 12:39

Love your Banana Plot Elaine!! Interesting to here how the wet feet problem goes. Not that we have had a great deal of rain. My friend grows them  on her farm on the sunshine coast and they are worth all the effort. They will taste beautiful!

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on January 26, 2012 at 15:22

Yes, they are Dwarf Ducasse ... there is no other legal source for new plants. Although $25 each is a bit steep, at least they are tough little hombres and have grown from skinny six-inchers to what they are now in a few months. You can make as many plants as you like for your own yard from the one you have though. The restriction is on moving the plants, not in taking the suckers and re-planting in your own yard.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on January 25, 2012 at 19:09

Thanks David :-) Yes the Bananas came from Sue at Blue Sky - it's the only legal way to get new plants.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on January 20, 2012 at 10:42

Jessica named the hybrid ;-) And the best way it seems, for volunteer plants to thrive is to have one big bed spread out in the available space rather than fancy dancy expensive made-up beds. Too late for here :-(.

Comment by Florence on January 20, 2012 at 8:28

Hehe, Japbutt ^^ Proved once again volunteer plants grows better than cultured :)

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