Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Well I'm finally starting to see the fruits of my labour in the garden. My very lovely neighbours saw me out digging around and offered me a heap of beautiful compost. It went straight into the veggie patch which I was about to sow my autumn seeds in. I have had some success already after only a week. The radishes have all sprouted (so reliable - I love them!!), All the pak choy has sprouted and one corn. I'm waiting on the rest but the rain should help them along hopefully. - Speaking of rain, thanks to the storm the other night our rainwater tank is now full so I can happily water my garden as often as I like without fear of running out of washing machine water (it's hooked up to there as well and my fiance doesn't like having to change the taps over all the time). Still waiting on the rebates for the tank.

The pumpkin is starting to fruit again as it does every time we get a good week of rain. They are looking like they will shape up more like butternuts this time. I love that every time they fruit they look different (and still taste yummy and sweet)! The sweet potato is running rampant and I'm starting to regret having put it in the veggie patch as I fear that it will take over unless I keep a very strict eye on it and keep it pruned. Hopefully it will give me some tubers in return. The beans are flowering but I'm not sure they are producing. It may just be that the grasshoppers are getting them, just like the pak choy that's hiding amongst the sweet potato. They reduced it's perfect spotless leaves to mostly holes in one day!

The other part of the garden that seems to be working wonders are the kookaburras!! We have started getting a family of 3 visiting our garden regularly looking for (and finding!) lots of food. Hopefully they will help me out with the grasshoppers as I don't like to use any chemicals in case they affect wildlife or insects that I want.

I have moved the compost bin to start again. I think where we had it was too shady and there was not enough heat to break things down. Hopefully it will be working better now. Although having said that, after removing the top layer of still rotting compost from the old pile, there were a few spadefulls of nice compost underneath that went straight onto the veggie patch. I move the pile aside and dug a hole to plant the cardamom that Chris gave us at the last garden visit. I hope the nice soil won't encourage it too much! It is nice and shady there so hopefully the lack of sunlight will keep it tame.

The passionfruit is in flower again so hopefully it will actually fruit this time not that it's a bit older and it's starting to trian itself on the chickenwire I put up for it. It has flowered several times but doesn't seem to actually set any fruit. We usually have plenty of bees so it should be getting polenated, but maybe I should try giving it a hand.

Well that's enough from me. I'm hoping there is enough for people to look at during the garden visit. It certainly has helped me get motivated to get back into the gardening (and weeding).

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Comment by Florence on March 26, 2009 at 10:23
I wish we have kookaburras, I used to hear the kookaburras' laugh in the morning, but haven't heard them for a while.

My chooks loves sweet potato leaves ~~~ if they didn't destroyed my newly planted sweet potato cuttings last month, maybe they will have some leaves to peck at now ^^"

Can't wait to see your garden this Sunday ^___^
Comment by Addy on March 21, 2009 at 11:08
I tried growing in mulch, heaping more and more mulch as they grew, the most beautiful leaves and about 1 metre tall but got a so-so crop, experimented with a couple in soil, did better. So this year I'm going to grow them in good ole earth! I have sweet potatoes growing in all sorts of soil, in semi-shade - I use the leaves in a coconut stew, yummy! All the best for the garden visit, I won't b able to attend, Sundays for us are busy with church, family lunches etc.
Comment by Vanessa Collier on March 21, 2009 at 8:50
I have very very clay soil so maybe that's what helps the radishes. I do find I can grow things people find it difficult to grow but then what they find easy to grow just doesn't work for me. I've never tried potatoes before. Are they any good in clay soil? My neighbour said he tried them but didn't have any success. I'm waiting to see what my sweet potato does if that's anything to compare by.
Comment by Addy on March 19, 2009 at 21:43
Vanessa, this is inspiring! Now radishes - I've haven't had any luck with them.... I'm going to try them in a more clayey bed this time, may retain water better! Also beans - the only types that do well for me are the long beans in summer and the Purple King in the cooler months. Are you going to put in some potatoes?

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