Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Moving south definitely means changes...

I thought I'd better give an update on my Victorian migration. OK, I know it's not local, and is largely irrelevant - but I thought you might find it interesting nevertheless :)


Goodbye Permaculture at the kids' school.


Goodbye Black Star organic fair trade killer coffee. 


 I continue to knit furiously - am terrified of the cold after all these years (14 years in Brisbane, which means I've spent the same time in Queensland as Victoria). Until now.



Hello grey skies of Melbourne.


You see, this is what lavendar really does. When it's happy.  



 Beans from my mum's raised vegie garden for xmas dinner (she put it in last year).



And also mum's home grown garlic - just ignore and hey presto!



We go exploring in the country to find a new home.



The kids seem to like it :D


We settle on this place (for the moment). Built in 1910, with a passive solar 70s extension.  


 It has an orchard :)  Plums, cherry, apples, pears, nectarines, apricots, peaches. Only the apples, pears and nectarines are fruiting -  all the other blossoms were blown off at flowering this year. Bother.



Midnight the cat came too. He's not allowed outside at night now - too many cute creatures around for him to eat.  



The chooks came too. We've made them a pen under the water tank stand.


We're in an amazing part of the world - heaps to see and do.


Koalas, emus, and kangaroos wander through our town at night. We can hear horses, ducks and goats from our back deck - but no people! BTW the deck is ridiculous - all that time in Brisbane, now we have a big deck and it's FREEZING!! Stupid. But we've obtained a brazier so we can stubbornly sit out there in our parkas...




Martian vegetation on the beach. 





NB that white flowered thing that looks like carrot is hemlock - i.e. the poison that killed Socrates! You have to pull it up by the roots with gloves on - and don't breathe any in!


We get decent rainfall. Much of the rest of country victoria looks more like my friend's backyard. See how dry? Even in such a wet cool summer.



 Look -real frog tadpoles, not cane toads.





The local parks are amazing - such old plants. Like this 160 year old Moreton Bay Fig (surprisingly they grow just fine down south). 



Lots of gardenesque landscape design.  



And amazing old conifers - this is a Monterey Cypress I think.  Also circa 160 y.o.



More gardenesque-ness. Note that public gardens are much less prone to the single species planting and straight lines!



Rainforests are now dark, frilly, bright green places.



Nice shade of canna lilly ;) Note massed, mixed planting!! Drifts. It's all about the drifts.  



So we love our new place. This is the view from upstairs.



Unfortunately the new backyard doesn't have a vegie garden ready to go. I'm not going to put one in. I'll take a year off - we're renting. (that pink is a reflection)


So it's just the mini garden and some pots for the moment. The sprayer is for water - there's no backyard tap. I've got lettuce, coriander and parsley seeds in the blue pot.  Rosemary, oregano, thyme, basil, chives, vietnamese mint, gotu kola, spring onion and celery (mistake! was meant to be parsley, i didn't check the label properly).



It's growing well. Much happier than it ever was in Brisbane.



Look - local produce, $3 a kilo!! And $4 for raspberries. BUT there is only a farmer's market on twice a month near here :(  And only one green grocer. I MISS FOOD CONNECT!!!!!! Quite a lot. But I'm starting to discover which stores have bits of local produce - pity there's no one place you can go though. I'll need to develop a circuit.



I made my first ever loaf of bread. I'm going to try sourdough next. Time to get over my aversion to bread :) 



In the absence of a garden I'm consoling myself with the kitchen garden at the girls' new school. Today I had a good weed pulling session - it's not seen heaps of care over the summer. Unfortunately the best growing season down here is during the school holidays! Conversely, Brisbane is ideal for school gardens.


Look - happy apple tree.  





Riots of lavendar, rosemary, sage, and yarrow.  



Masses of giant strawberry plants.


We can't wait for the apples to ripen :) Apple pie!! 



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Comment by Lissa on February 13, 2011 at 19:06
lol We're interested in ALL fruit and veg. You never know, you may instil the wunderlust in others and end up with some Qld neighbours.
Comment by Donna on February 13, 2011 at 17:18
But we can still be jealous ;)
Comment by Scarlett on February 13, 2011 at 17:17

thanks all, it is amazing

am hoping we can make it all work! fingers crossed, we'll see how we go, and I will update from time to time - although there's not much point discussing when the best time to harvest the nectarines is! :)

Comment by Lissa on February 12, 2011 at 8:09

Wonderful pics Scarlett :D

Love the things that grow well for you - the lavenders, herbs and apples and stone fruit. Another world!

I just can't keep sage alive longer than a few months.

You seem to be in a terrific spot which has the benefits of the country but also close to the beach. Sweet.

Comment by Jacqui on February 10, 2011 at 11:26
I can feel the peace and space just from the words and photos - what a great location and sure looks like the right decision, esp once you get the garden up and running.  Envy you heaps, enjoy the cold winter nights in front of the fire - it is bound to get warmer soon and then you can feel sorry for us in the crippling sub tropical heat:)  Thanks for the update Scarlett and please keep us updated from time to time.
Comment by Donna on February 8, 2011 at 12:37

Sounds (and looks) awesome Scarlett!  I can just picture you on the deck with your brazier and parka stubbonly making good use of the space ;)


I will be looking into whether I can create/ help create a veggie garden at David's school.  They have an 'adopt a garden' thing happening so maybe I'll just do one or two myself.

Comment by Scarlett on February 8, 2011 at 10:38

Apparently there are about 30 schools in Brisbane with school gardens. Some of them are really good. 

We're in the Western District - i.e. heading out west from Melbourne towards SA. Prime cattle and sheep country - not much horticulture, mostly animals. 

I guess I could ask them to mail me some coffee (don't know if they would, it's probably not a service they usually offer), but I'm settling for my fall-back of the Fair Trade Organic coffee they sell in Coles! Global Cafe Direct, it's called.  Also there's a great wholesale coffee place in Melbourne I can stock up at. The thing I miss is being able to shoot down to the cafe for a good (and ethical) caffeine hit - although there is one place in town that does a strongish standard latte if I really need one. Otherwise I'm happy with my homemade coffee using the stove top percolator. I just like cafes ;)  And I find that almost any coffee will do with my percolator, but I only get a good coffee out of it if the seals are good, it's all clean, the coffee isn't packed too tight or too loose, and it percolates so slowly you can leave the lid up and not make a mess (takes a fair while, maybe 10 minutes for a 4 cup pot). If you can see yellow oil coming through then you know it's going to be good :)

Comment by Shirley on February 8, 2011 at 8:25
Love the photos, sounds like a magical place.
Comment by Tracy Arnold on February 8, 2011 at 8:14

Just stunning Scarlet!  Love the sunflower at the school garden. 

Comment by Vanessa Collier on February 7, 2011 at 21:46
So beautiful!!

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