Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

2015 Annual update of Stardate 29.05.13 - when real life gets in the way.

I like this idea of updating previous years' blog entries.  So I will continue:


(Note to self: it's quite warm this year. Winter has been delayed).

So, this year the snow peas are going well.  They've been in for a short time but are already producing. Having said that, they are in a more sunny garden this year.   I also have around 8 beans in.  They're growing okay but it is early days for them.   Tomatoes are coming up again, sweet potatoes have proven to be an all year producer (either for leaves or tubers) in the wicking bed and the passionfruit is back into fruit again, along with the stupid paw paw.  Maybe I'm getting into a routine at last.  

I've Increased the dirt beds a lot - growing spinach, garlic, shallots, cabbage, capsicum, kale, sorrel, and even artichoke.  I've started to harvest from even the smaller plants.  The fruit trees are slowly growing and I get the odd fruit now.  I'm trying caulis again, but they've been slaughtered every previous year. 

The aquaponics is suffering from the Pesky Possum.  The bugger eats every new plant in the beds.  The Basil is leggy again, so I cut it back today.  There is no longer any gravel in any of my beds.  The clay balls are so much easier (if more expensive).  The addition of the Kang Kong has been a god send. I'd be happy if it was the only thing that grew in the beds.  I made pesto today and a salad for dinner.  You can't even see a dint in the crop.  Amazing. 

The chickens are still laying.  I get 1 or 2 eggs a day, but after losing Ruby, young Betty hasn't come into lay yet.  I have a cheese course this weekend.  My three main staples will be up for tasting:  purple onion feta, Glasshouse Blue and Brisbane Nutty Blue, along with Pesto, Tapindade and the improved Sweet Chilli Sauce. 

A final note about Percy the Bush Turkey.  I have a big new water gun (oh, it's not right to call it a water pistol).  Percy runs like heck when I come out with it.  Bobby also knows the word "Percy" and will fly out the back like a rocket when I say it.  I hope next year to report that he went to less stressful yards a week after this report.  LOL. We shall see. 


Go figure!  The snow peas are going badly this year for some reason, and don't have any beans in at all, nor rainbow chard.  However, turnips are going great guns, and the caulis are performing okay (they got eaten last year before I got any).  My Rozie has stolen a bed in the little dogs' yard and taken it over with a pumpkin which is doing exceptionally and I can already see fruit a forming!  We have also had a couple of harvests of sweet potatoes this week which is great considering they were just tops and tails last year.  Cherry tomatoes are appearing all over the yard now.  We are also getting passionfruit again. 

The aquaponics is of course in full flight.  Fish are around 7 inches long now. I have removed the shade cloth cover because things were going lanky.  Spinach is going great guns as is the strawberries.  Chives and spring onions are coming along well in there too but for some reason the basil isn't very happy. Two out of three of my little grow beds have been swapped from gravel to clay balls. Forget the gravel idea folks. 

The chooks have settled into life outside pretty well.  I still have a bit of work to do on the run but there's no rush.  I swear, my Rozie is going to kill me in her drive for coup perfection. 

I am teaching cheese making via adult education classes from next term.  I also sussed out the Wandering Cooks kitchens and am very impressed with the place. I'm considering small scale saleable runs of cheese but we shall see.  (I'm kinda stretched.)

And yes, next month I go quiet for a week or two while I work for the Abbey.


You'll notice that I am doing my best to comment and stay in touch.  However, I am not posting anything new about myself/my garden right now.  

I foolishly did a model shoot the other weekend that resulted in too many damn fine photos.  I am spending a lot of time working the images to a highly professional standard for her.  I also have the Abbey Medieval Tournament coming up.  That knocks me out for weeks! 

All this means that I am doing little in the garden except watching things grow. Snow peas are going well as is Joe's beans, rainbow chard and caulis.  I am seeing 3 likely pumpkins that will be harvested soon.  The fish tank is languishing half finished for the aquaponics set up, but I need to investigate whether I need to heat it anyways.  

I am still busting to run some cheese making demos for free, but real life has me pinned down by the throat at the moment.  

Garden long and prosper!


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Comment by Lissa on May 30, 2015 at 9:30

Good update Andy.

I used to scream "ratty" for my dogs to come running - but one being blind and one being deaf this no longer works and the rodent pests make the most of it.

Comment by DARREN JAMES on June 29, 2014 at 20:43

Thats good news mate I know what Im doin 2moss when I get home from work

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on June 29, 2014 at 18:11

I planted two days ago and the new snow peas seem to be going okay this time.  I think the weather has been confusing them crazy Darren. 

Comment by DARREN JAMES on June 29, 2014 at 9:04

Yes my snow peas and beans have not worked either frustrating after 2nd planting

Comment by Lissa on May 24, 2014 at 6:12

I put snow peas seedlings in some weeks ago and after a slow start they are now producing great quantities of crunchy little pods. It's always hard to figure out they whys of these things.

in fact everything is growing well this year (knock on wood). I go out and squish a few caterpillers here and there to deter others from coming but there's not a lot of damage going on. The netted bed has virtually no damage at all. Big lesson for me as I so often forget to get the nets out and use them.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on May 24, 2014 at 0:02

I'm thinking of doing a replant of the snow peas for exactly that reason.  Thank you ladies - I put the current ones in a few weeks ago.   

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on May 23, 2014 at 23:54

That's a good idea about the weather being too warm for Snow Peas. Or my Sugar Snap Peas. Plants look wonderful, nipped out the tops since they are out of reach for harvest - flowering but little fruit set. Harvested a whole 4 pods from 8 plants. Hoping for better harvests as it gets colder.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on May 23, 2014 at 21:26

Oh no Susan.  I have a day job as well.  I just don't work Fridays (but tend to teach Sundays and Wednesday nights). 

Comment by Susan on May 23, 2014 at 21:00

I'm wondering if the problem with snow peas could be the lack of cold?  I don't know about you but this year it seems very warm?  Beautiful photo's and I love that you do crafty things for a living - I dream (unrealistically for me) about giving it all up to become a farmer sometimes.

Comment by Vanessa Collier on June 2, 2013 at 15:21

Awesome photo Andrew - no doubt the ABC didn't pay anything for the photo but probably worth it for the credit anyhow.  Congratulations on being made an official photographer - they must like your work and looks like you do a good job.  My brother writes his own magazine about western martial arts (Combatant Magazine).  It's up to its third edition soon.

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Vetiver grass helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion.  It can protect against pests and weeds. Vetiver is also used as animal feed. (Wiki.)

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