coffee (3)


I am very fond of Dayboro, the folk are down to earth, the scenery gorgeous. It's still close to amenities but feels "country".  So the opportunity to spend, all up, 8 weeks here is most pleasureable. 

I am staying for two weeks at Lynn and Wayne's place first up - actually having my holiday to cover the period, looking after their four puddies, Jack the (adorable, smart Bull Arab) dog and getting out of looking after the chooks as neighbour Andrea has that job. I just get the free range eggs :)

We did a GV here in 2016  for further information.

The house is a beautiful old Queenslander with great airflow and polished wood floors. The garden a quarter acre of flowers, herbs, veg beds and fruit trees. Wonderful. Pretty much my idea of a dream home....apart from the nutgrass....there is a LOT of nutgrass. It's a real challenge for them.

This is the view I wake to in the morning - it's also a great verandah to sit on at night (no mossies) and sip some red while watching the galas fly over.


Lynn's front yard has a large area dedicated to bee attracting flowering plants. There are lots of bees - mainly honey, SNB and Blue Banded. 


Amongst them is this mystery plant which the bees just love! big time. The flowers don't open until it becomes sunny - pale yellow petals with a darker centre. Reminiscent of rosellas and hibiscus....if anyone can name it please.

NOTE: Christa managed to track down the name of this plant which was then confirmed by Jerry C-W. Thank you to both of you:
Yes, Turnera ulmifolia 'Elegans' it is (Turneraceae, Central America). Not very common. Definitely worth saving the seed. 🙂
Kind regards




Some of my charges. Despite being a big intelligent dog Jack is a wuss when it comes to the slightest hint of thunder and needs to be close to his humans.


Sam, one of four cats and surely the most decorative - he has decided my crop basket is a good place to rest.


The chickens are very pretty. I'm not up on chicken varieties but some of the prettiest here are Wyandotts which I thought up to this very moment were called Wine Dots! There are also two regular black laying chooks. One of which has a prolapse.


But the chook with the most personality is fluffy little white Betty. I have no idea what type of chook Betty is (turns out she's a Frizzle) but she lays lovely little eggs and "talks" to me all the time. Vocally asking to be let out of her own little pen in the mornings and following me around when I'm in the backyard, yacking away. Her friend is another small breed I don't know the name of (now know she is a Sebright), very pretty but sturky of me.



Lynn and Wayne have a big range of fruit trees growing on their block - 

Panama Berries - one of my favourite sweet snacks. This is about half of today's crop (rest eaten before I thought to take a pic).


Lots of citrus including this Mandarin...


There's lots of productive orange trees and I think these are perhaps Pummelos or Grapefruit....


Plenty of ripening Dragonfruit.....


Two large figs covered in fruit...

9779236086?profile=originalAn espaliered orchard with chook run down the middle (chooks are free range in the backyard and can come and go from this run), great idea....






Banks of Rosellas that they turn into jams and cordials.....


Grow tunnel for greens.....


Pumpkins galore.....


And a very productive Coffee plant in the front yard that Wayne makes his own coffee out of.....


Everywhere I go, Jack goes with me. He loves me but I think I must be boring company compared to Mum and Dad who never stop moving and doing stuff. He seems a bit puzzled why I'm out taking pictures when I could be playing catch with him.


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Dianne's garden wakes up from Winter

It has been a while between Blogs for me, so thought I would start this off as an ongoing diary for myself over the Spring/Summer Season of 2016.

It has been a big year for us in Ellen Grove and to be honest I couldn’t have done the hard yakka without Husband Graham and Member Darren. The Garden has undergone a lot of work and rearrangements due to the addition of a new Work Shed for Graham.9779188054?profile=original

Many new Fruit Trees have been added, with the Front Garden being planted with Capulin Cherry, Panama Berry, 4 x Coffee K7 Plants, Yacon (in very large pot), Cornus mas Elegant (which is growing very well here). A lot of the planting has been done on the Verge Side.


This part of the Front Garden was ripped up this week to prepare it for next year’s Fruit Trees to be planted into.


These plantings are part of the Bag Garden, they seem very happy.



Strawberry Guava Flowering.


Many Berries have been added to the mix both in the Front Garden and in a new space beside the existing Vegetable Garden. Currant – Red, Currant – Black, White Current (Which are Fruiting), Raspberry – Smoothy, Raspberry – Atherton,  Gooseberry – Captivator, Silvanberry, Chester Thornless blackberry, Jostaberry, New as well as gifted Blueberries and Alpine and Regular Strawberries.

Entry to Old Vegetable Garden

Part of Old Vegetable Garden

Another Side of Old Vegetable Garden

Wall Garden and Broad Beans

Entry to Rose Garden

The new area in Back Garden, was made by layering branches, twigs, compost, cow manure, the mulches up limbs of a very large Quandong, straw, cardboard and newspaper.

Into it has been planted Dwarf Mango - King Thai, Abiu, Dwarf Mango – Irwin, An Avocado, Davidson Plum

Added to our Citrus Collection are, Australian Round Lime, Bush Lemon Tree (hoping this one lives), Australian Round Lime, Yuzu

Still to be planted - Lychee - Wai Chee, Babaco (Grafted), Lemon – Eureka, Myoga Ginger, Finger Lime – Alstonville, Lime – Kassia

The Side Salvia Garden now has some Friends sharing their space, Dwarf Peach – Standard, Dwarf Apricot – Moorpark, Dwarf Peach - Sunset Backyard Beauty, Dwarf Nectarine - Sunset Backyard Beauty, Muscadine Grape – Adonis, Muscadine Grape – Noble

I have forgotten to mention a few of the newies but I am sure you get the gist of it, this place will be a Fruit Forest one day only hope I will be here when they all fruit. I am so happy with the progress of the garden, it has thrived under some harsh conditions at times.

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Coffee thoughts

I'm drinking coffee right now. I love coffee. I love going to the grinding shop and smelling the different coffees in the big round tubs. I love buying coffee in a vaccuum pack and foofing the smell onto my face through the valve on the way home.Developing coffee berries

I try to only drink one or two cups per day on work days, and one or none on non-work days. Sometimes I switch to tea for a while and give my liver and kidneys a break from all the theobromeine (sp?). If I drink coffee after midday it keeps me awake until after 11pm.Barista mystery: how do they make those patterns on the top of latte?My weapon of choice? Stove top espresso 'machine'. I found a place that sells replacement seals yesterday - New Farm Deli (next to Merthyr rd Coles). Unfortunately they were out of rings for the 3 cup aluminium model that I need, sigh.Special trick? Warm the milk in a jug in the microwave and then twirl an upright whisk in it like you're trying to light a fire. This makes lots of good milk froth fast.Favourite coffee shop in Brisbane? Black Star in West End - they use fair trade and they use a double shot in every cup. Va va voom. Killer pastries too.I made my own coffee once. Wow. At $10 an hour for my labour it would have cost $50 for 250g of ground coffee - that's a standard small brick of espresso coffee. Obviously with mechanisation it would be faster, but that's without distribution, marketing or retail mark-up. I guess I had about a third to a half a bucket of berries to produce this much coffee. A big coffee bush makes lots of berries - maybe one bucket per bush each season.Is it better to buy local coffee or support developing economies by buying fair trade coffee? I don't know. I do both. We buy Zeta's coffee through Food Connect (which is made near Byron Bay) and fair trade coffee in Coles or at Black Star.Coffee is a sub-tropical bush (2-3m tall, about 1-2 m wide) that likes medium to rich well-drained soil and filtered light or semi shade. It's drought tolerant but responds to water. Plants wilt if they are getting thirsty and recover well from wilting if you water them. Coffee is a very ornamental plant - it has dark glossy leaves, small pretty white flowers in late Winter/ early Spring, and red berries through late Spring/ Summer. In Autumn the berries drop to the ground and create a mess (which isn't a problem if you are collecting them and if not they rot down pretty quickly - but consider this if planting in pots on decking etc). Aside from this annual event they are very tidy and well behaved plants - no need to remove dead wood or old leaves etc to keep them looking nice. They are very low maintenance - you can maybe feed once a year in late Winter: a good whack of compost, some dynamic lifter perhaps. You should check their pH - if they are light green instead of dark glossy green they are either getting too much sun or the pH is too high. They like about 6.5 (from memory - I should check).Coffee grows well under taller trees and particularly likes the edges of forests. Our three are growing very happily down the southeastern side of the house where they receive filtered morning light and about 1-2 hours of overhead light at midday. Before that I had them at the edge of the poinciana up the back where they received a blast of afternoon sunlight and were sheltered in the morning; they just never grew and looked wan and yellow, so I moved them. At the moment they have lots of fresh new growth - but they haven't flowered yet. Maybe next year.These mature coffee bushes are at New Farm Park. I've also spotted some outside Jazzy Cat Cafe in West End and in the hibiscus section of the Mt Coot-tha Botanic gardens. You often see them in parks.

Ripe ones are dark red to a purple black colour but still plump.

Under the skin is a translucent pulp. To process them you need to remove the skin and this pulp. Industrially they use rollers and washers. I just rubbed them off. Slimy.

Underneath is a papery membrane surrounding both beans. Again you just scratch this open and break the beans out of the membrane.

Then you need to leave them to dry. A rack is good for this. Filtered sunshine and turning at least once a day is good to prevent mould, although I didn't have any problems on this front and wasn't particularly diligent. After about three days the beans are dry and you can have a go at the next membrane - another papery one that covers each bean. These photos are all on fresh berries, no drying, which is a bit messy and more difficult.When the membrane is dry it sort of flakes off - but it can also stick to the beans which is bad! (Maybe it needed to be drier?)

The beans are sort of grey at this stage.

Once you have nude beans you can roast them in the oven on a baking tray on low heat until they start to smell like roasted coffee beans, and go all sort of carmelised. This is how you buy them at the shops - from there it's just grind them to suit your weapon of choice and start percolating.

The coffee I made tasted pretty good, not brilliant. It sure gives you an appreciation for coffee to do all this by hand. When I was in Cuba we visited people who had coffee bushes in their gardens and it was a great honour and pleasure to be given hand made coffee like this.I tried making dandelion coffee once too. It was not nearly as good as that you can buy. It was an awfully fiddly job. I had a great deal of trouble getting all the dirt out off the roots.I'm keen for our coffee bushes to flower - I want to try it again. I think perhaps that not all of my berries were perfectly ripe last time. I guess it's probably best to collect and dry them as you go, being very picky about the stage of ripeness, and then roast them when you've got enough.cheers Scarlett
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