Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

'Tis I in my milk crate herb garden.
Making your own fantasy back-to-nature dojo in your own backyard. You can even eat the walls!
Sort of dine-in AND takeaway!

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Comment by Dave Riley on September 6, 2021 at 23:17

After visiting the Caboolture Mkts on the Sunday, I came home with seedlings ++. Now that I'm wrapped up in a theme -- and plum out of milk crates -- I got all the good sized pots I had, filled them with dirt, manure and perlite and placed them on top -- sort of -- what I had.

Water the pot and the water also irrigates what may be below.

Good principle. Water recycling.

Pots atop milkcrates -- in a higgledy piggledy way.

This also means that my major go-to herbs and such are in the same garden area. Like, as you are cooking you need a handful of such and such -- without wanting to go all the way outback.

I can do this because...well, that's a long story.

Hypothetically, I had 3 large growing beds and I cut back to two while letting the chooks occupy what was the third. These beds had been brought on lovingly for over 10 years with muchly mulching and such so the soil was an excellent sandy loam.  It is this I fill my pots with after mixing it with sheep manure.

Ideal media for these vessels. Throw in a few wood chips in the mix, and maybe some Perlite I have remaining.

Cheap and easy. And there is plenty more DIY potting mix where this lot came from.

The concentration of milkcrates AND pots in the same space makes hand watering easy and efficient.

The other trick I've been working at is using cardboad boxes as mulch. You take a standard shallow open box  and cut holes through the base to insert seedlings once the box is laid down in the garden bed.  It may look weird seeing plants growing inside an empty box -- but the rig seems to work -- and the sides -- the 4 sides -- give the young seedling some protection.

Any  small box will do. The usual approach is to flatten the boxes and sheet mulch the cardboard. In this case, you don't flatten the box, you just lay it down on the garden bed and stab planting holes into it.If you throw any dirt on top -- like a sprinkling -- later watering will flush it into the planting hole where you planted the seedling.  The sides  of box will not only protect the seedling from wind, but act as a moisture catcher.

Since cardboard boxes are everywhere -- and newspapers are not anymore -- recycling cardboard boasts  a reliable supply line.

No weeds or invasions of other plants inside the box. Leave  the boxes  there in situ and they'll rot down.


In comparison, the  image here at right is growing plants in the box (rather than through it) . The problem with this approach is that there's no moisture cycle and the soil-in-the-box will likely tend to dry out. If the boxes were lined up together -- butting onto each other --that would not be a problem. But separated like this is not the best way to use a box.

Comment by Dave Riley on September 4, 2021 at 6:40

I prefer the jo which is armpit high. I'm using the hanbo in the photo, which is a 'half' bo. A bo is about head height. I can spin them all -- but the bigger the staff, the better the spin. The great spinners are the Tamil folk who use a Silambam staff -- which is a light bo made from rattan. I have one of those but cut it down to jo length. I now pursue a north west Chinese form with the jo length called Bian Gun -- 'Whip Stick' -- which is performed like Tai Chi but with a stick.I also do Filipino martial stick arts -- Kali -- which uses an arm length stick. Usually two. When i took up the martial thing, I decided to stick with sticks.

The big green leaves belong to Tatume.

Comment by Christa on September 3, 2021 at 20:58

Can you spin the Bo staff, I tried with a bigger staff but my brothers were much better at it,

The garden is looking nice and green, and still heaps of variety growing. Is that the Tatume with the big green leaves or a pumpkin?

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on September 3, 2021 at 11:04

Ah the serenity.  I wish the faint beat of African drums would stop though. Can't work out where they are coming from.... 

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