Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

I've been meaning to post for a while, but kept procrastinating ~

Not much going on with the garden ~ A volunteer cherry tomato started fruiting in the front yard, but the green grape I sow with seeds from Fiona didn’t grow anymore from since it was 2 cm high… and now yellowing… now what did I do? ^^ Probably most likely what I didn’t do though… >__< .. I’ve sprayed some diluted seasol on them today…

There nothing much to harvest in the garden except for chillies, and a few Oriental radish are ready to pick. A few winter melons, and one single Luffa are on the vines though… will harvest them when the vines dies, but hopefully will get a few more melons and Luffas before that happens ~~


The Choko vine and the African horn cucumber seem to have started flowering, but not seeing any fruits yet ~ They seem to be a bit late? They were planted in spring…

African Horned Cucumber

I am really excited that I saw fruits forming on my passionfruit vines!! These were sown from seeds of shop bought red passionfruit more than a year ago; I thought they won’t fruit this year since they didn’t flower in summer, looks like I may get a small harvest before winter :)


How many passionfruits can you spot?

The sweet potatoes, sweet corns and beans seedlings didn’t seem to be able to recover since they were attacked by my chooks >__< oh well…. I will have to get the backyard done properly with vegetable beds for the chooks to rotate on … soon ~~~

On the subject of chooks, I am still sulking that two of my chooks turned out to be cockerels and have to abandoned them, I think the pullets are sulking too as they are not moving around as much as when the cockerels were here and the leghorns are especially jumpy and get startled even more easily now… My mother and brother are pretty upset too, the cockerels used to lead the pullets and run up to my mum whenever she goes to the backyard .. .. I think she really misses the cockerels ~ oh well, as responsible citizens we have to obey council’s rules…


Not too sure what I will plant for autumn yet, but I will need to re-pot my struggling strawberries, and get a bigger pot for my blueberries. I will need to buy some potting mix before I can do that, please let me know if anyone know of any potting mix sale ^__^

Finally pruned my Peach tree though, there were something on a couple of branches which looks like wound with flowing sap, although it’s dry to touch … any ideas what they are? I’ve cut off one branch, but left one as I will need to get a pruning saw if I want to cut that off…. Do I have to get rid of it?

Peach Tree

Peach Tree

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Comment by Scarlett on April 6, 2009 at 11:59
yes, that's what i reckon - biocides are awful all round really
interesting re sulphur/ lime - would love to hear how well that works, although we'd have issues with pH and run-off into trees and things, so I probably can't use it
we also scrubbed our coop out with neem when we first got it a year ago
yes that's it - it was called Pestene = the rotenone dust
I haven't found a produce store near mt gravatt that sells it - I rang around from the yellow pages
Comment by Florence on April 6, 2009 at 10:49
Yes, I think I do have a mites infestation…. Together with ants.. the ants were nesting on one of the top corners of the coop… we have a coop which you can open the top, but haven’t been doing that.. think we’ll be opening the top more frequently now for inspection… ^^”

We’ve washed out the coop with water and spread lime beneath the bedding on the ground of the coop, I also have sulphur powder on hand, so I’ve spread them under their beddings in the upper level, also smoother all the surfaces and cracks with it. Dusted the chooks with Sulphur powder, I hope I am not using too much.. at least I won’t get any fowl smelling eggs since they are not laying yet anyways… will see how they go, if they are not getting better, I’ll have to get some commercial dusts.. I think I saw Rotenone, and something called Pest… something dust at the produce store on Saturday…. I found the feeds, feeders, waterers, and woodshavings are cheaper from produce store then Pet City, so I assume medications would be the same..

I suspect we have termites in the house, need to get someone in to inspect, our last inspection I believe was 2 years ago and was all clear. If the chemical they use for termite can kill people in small quantities, then that means they can kill chooks in even smaller quantities ^^
Comment by Scarlett on April 5, 2009 at 22:42
oh dear - I read about you might have mites. Yes, those dove things are what bring them to us - and pigeons. Grrr. Rotenone (aka derris dust) works and is pretty low toxicity - there's a bird dusting powder in pet shops with this as the active ingredient. i get mine at pet city mount gravatt. a friend at work recommends a 6 monthly spray with Frontline tick and flea treatment - he says one spray near the vent, one near the neck - both at base of feathers. Much easier but obviously not organic. I wouldn't eat any eggs for a week or so. This is the active ingredient in Termidor termite killer - it's called Fipronyl as I recall. I looked it up, it's not nice - kills bees etc, can kill people in relatively small quantities if you ingest it, goes through skin etc. The termite man came round the other day and i chatted with him about it (it's what he uses although we don't have any in the house - in the garden yes) - he says it's not a nerve poison, but I'm not sure what the pathway it uses is. Most people probably use Frontline or similar on their dogs and cats - like Dr Harry says! Dusting every month loses its appeal after a while. I supppose I could roof their enclosure in - but was worried that wouldn't work because the mites swarm from abandoned nests and they go large distances, and our chook pen is under big trees
Comment by Florence on April 3, 2009 at 15:54
um.. I do have a blueberry bush in a pot, but I didn't mention it?? I got it from the Tara Valley stall (patio orchard range) at a previous ABC gardening Expo... they did fruit too although it didn't receive much care at all... and it is in need of repotting..

Here's a picture of it in flower

May post a pic of it in fruit tonight :)

Forbidden Fruits sells blueberries too, for $10 much cheaper then the one I got ~ They'll be at the expo too ~ so you may want to visit the expo which is in two weeks time ~ nurseries and bunnings in my area pretty much only stock the citrus in the patio orchard range..
Comment by Addy on April 3, 2009 at 15:30
Wow, a blueberry bush - where did you get yours from? My dad is longing to put one in... Does it fruit in Queensland?
Comment by Florence on April 3, 2009 at 9:19
I've always thought that my Peach have leaf curl, which I was waiting for it to go dormant for treatment... now Scarlett mentioned borer, and so I did some research on Google, and found the symtoms matches that of Peach Twig Borer and didn't look like leaf curl at all!! Yet it seems the books I read mostly only mention leaf curl and no Peach Twig Borer... oh well, at least now I know what's hurting my tree ~

I will use just whatever dish liquid we have for this weekend then... will spray the lime and mandarin as well.. they've been suffering from Citrus leaf miner .. especially the Lime...
Comment by Donna on April 3, 2009 at 9:00
I used normal dish liquid, probably would be better to use the one that's okay for recycling (low phosporus from memory) but I don't think it matters really.
Some of the home made recipes specify pure soap (not the white oile one), in which case you can buy cheap no name bars in the laundry section and grate it.
I learned the hard way not to spray when the temp is over 30 degrees as it burns the leaves.
Comment by Florence on April 2, 2009 at 11:42
Found white oil recipe online, do you know whether I can use any washing up liquid (dish washing detergent, laundry detergent?), or there's specific ones I should get? I am trying to keep the tree to about 2 - 2 1/2 metres, and I hope I didn't prune off all fruiting buds ^^"

I love to eat young angled luffa, I am guessing these cylindrical ones are similar.. Although they look different from the ones I've seen in Asian grocers.. However, since we only have one on the vine, I am trying to wait for it to mature and see if I can process it to a luffa sponge :)

Did you get your chooks sexed? If so, we probably had the same sexer... around 30% - 40% accuracy :P

Thanks for your comment about the fence, it's pretty handy for the climbing curcurbitaceae and tomatoes, but not so good for the beans though...
Comment by Scarlett on April 1, 2009 at 14:56
oh dear, not good with the peach. not sure either - probably a borer type insect with a possible bacterial canker infection as well or instead. suggest white oil - lots of it, into the cracks, possibly add some neem. see if it starts to come good. if not, cut affected bits off. inspect regularly and treat anything that looks like it's starting up with white oil. it's hard to grow peaches anywhere (except maybe sydney i've noticed). definitely consider keeping the tree low so you can spray/ inspect/ net it..
yes, we were very unhappy about getting rid of our roosters too - we got 3 out of 5! but they were crowing early in the morning and i was afraid we were terrorising the neighbours, so they went back to the country
my neighbours say they fry young luffa with garlic. theirs are only small at the moment.
I like your netting on the fences - very organised.
Comment by Donna on March 29, 2009 at 7:31
Good luck with the late harvests of cucumber etc, you could be lucky as long as we don't get a frost. I have a luffa in at the moment but the fruits are only about 3 inches long and skinny like a worm, don't think it will make it - and my silly pumpkins are going crazy throwing female flowers and setting fruit - a bit late but I am hoping to get something - they are all over the grass, an excuse for hubby not to mow ;)

I will see what I can find out about the peach, without looking I would guess you probably have to cut it off, but wouldn't be the first time I was wrong.

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