After the storms that hit Brisbane yesterday you might expect that I could give watering a rest for a while. Continue Reading →
At last weekend’s open day, Rosa, a gardening neighbour, gave me two pomelo fruit. So I had two opportunities: to grow my own tree and to make refreshing pomelo salad.
There’s just 112 different types of edible available right now, less than in late winter, since many crops sown are still juvenile.
Winter in Brisbane is perfect for mushroom growing on the cheap. In cool conditions, mushroom fly (Lycoriella sp.) ceases egg laying, so its maggots don’t riddle mushrooms with holes.
“My question is about eating potatoes that have gone green.
I have cautioned at least 3 times over the past 18 months my local supermarkets who mark down the bags of green potatoes to sell. I am fearful the very people who would go for such a bargain are the poor & uneducated who do not realise the harm these could do to an unborn baby.
I checked out my concerns via the CSIRO site & they seem to back up what I say. But even so everyone else thinks I’m crazy. I won’t buy green potatoes myself; my concern is for other who unwittingly does so not knowing they can be harmful.
Am I right to go on complaining at the point of sale?”
Adelaide, South Australia
The hardest part of making jam is waiting for it to cool, fending off beasts so you can try some out yourself…
Today the fun has been making good use of the kaffir lime windfall, fruit that dropped in the cold snap (9C last night). This also gave me an opportunity to justify warming the kitchen and to try my first pickings of Australian sweet lime. More mild than genuinely sweet, I thought they’d make a pleasant contrast with richly-flavoured kaffir lime.
I enjoy trialling new crops, and this season one of the most outstanding plants at ‘Bellis’ has been the West Indian gherkin, Cucumis anguria.
This trial had a shaky start, with only one seed germinating from the packet I bought from Eden seeds. I gave it well composted, freely draining soil in a raised bed in a sunny position. Sown on 24th October, I planted my seedling in December.
After a dry April in Bayside Brisbane, 152 mm rain fell during the 28th April. A good gentle drop with no gales, it filled the rainwater tank and the stormwater soakaway pit. Not a drop was wasted : the compost-rich soil lapped it all up. A banana burst into bloom and my winter greens are growing strongly.
Crop diversity is rising once more with 120 edibles available right now…
In 2007 – 2008, there was a spike in oil prices. Since the bulk of food is produced using petrol-dependant technology (oil-based fertilisers and pesticides, petrol powered irrigation, harvesting, packing and transportation, etc) this price spike caused the cost of food to rise significantly. Suddenly the media discussed ‘food inflation’. Many conventional farmers started looking at fuel efficiency: ceasing the use of expensive oil-based products and oil consuming tasks.
I’m getting fewer summer crops, but my Asian greens are growing very fast indeed. Now that the nights are cooling down, I’ve begun sowing early winter crops, like salad vegetables and tomatoes.
My native Midyim (Austromyrtus dulcis, aka Midgen Berry) has only a few fruit this year. They’ve got introduced Myrtle rust, a debilitating disease that threatens all plants in the Myrtaceae family, both wild and cultivated.