In Production Today: September 2012

Spring is warm and dry, so the diversity of temperate crops in this 300 sq metre garden has dropped to 156. 

Bellis went without rain for a record breaking 60 days, the longest period since moving to Brisbane in 2003, until 9mm fell on the 18th of September. Debris choked the rain heads.

Dry conditions and drought watering means there aren’t many snowpeas and beans but they are, finally, big enough to eat.

Having just read ‘Medicinal Plants in Australia’, a couple of food plants are worth mentioning for their health-giving properties. Apparently, regularly eating sweetpotato leaves and edible chrysanthemum (shungiku) reduces macular degeneration. Both are easily grown and their bland flavour means you’re unaware of them in meals.

I have also just found LuminEarth’s Guide to Wild Edible & Medicinal Plants, which says goldenrod (Solidago spp.) are edible and have a range of medicinal purposes. I have them in flower and look forward to eating some.

Plants in Production at ‘Bellis’, September 2012


White, or Button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus. Almost finished.

Edible roots

Aerial potato, Dioscorea bulbifera. Almost ready to sprout.
Arrowroot, Canna edulis
. Sprouting.
Cocoyam, Xanthosoma saggitifolia
Daikon or Japanese radish, Raphanus sativus var. longipinnatus ‘Long White’
Turnip, Brassica rapa subsp. rapa ‘Early Purple’
Winged yam, Dioscorea alata

Edible shoots and leaves

Broccoli raab, aka flowering turnip, Brassica rapa var. rapa ‘Cima di Rapa Quarantina’
Pigeon pea, Cajanus cajan

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Edible pods

Podding radish, Raphanus caudatus
Pigeon pea, Cajanus cajan
Climbing bean, Phaseolus vulgaris ‘Climbing Blue’
Climbing bean, Phaseolus vulgaris ‘Purple King’
Climbing bean, Phaseolus vulgaris ‘Epicure’

Edible seed

Chilean Wine palm, Jubaea chilensis
Coffee, Coffea arabica ‘First Fleet’
Garden pea ‘Dutch Purple Podded’
Macadamia, Macadamia integrifolia
Pigeon pea, Cajanus cajan
Snowpea ‘Dwarf Skinless’
Snowpea ‘Oregon Sugar Pod’
Snowpea ‘Melting Mammoth’
Snowpea ‘Delta Matilda’

Edible leaves
Annual nettle, Urtica urens. Almost finished.
Bok Choi, Brassica rapa var. chinensis
Celery stem taro, aka Tahitian spinach, Alocasia esculenta
Chervil, Anthriscus cerefolius
Chinese cabbage, Brassica rapa var. chinensis
Chinese cabbage, Brassica rapa var. chinensis ‘Pe Tsai’
Chinese celery, aka smallage, Apium graveolens
Chives, Allium schoenoprasum
Cobbler’s Pegs, Bidens pilosa
Common chickweed, Stellaria media
Corn salad, Valerianella locusta ‘Large Dutch’
Coriander, Coriandrum sativum
Curry leaf, Murraya koenigii
Dai Gai Choi, Brassica juncea var. foliosa ‘Wynnum Imperial’ (my own cultivar). Almost finished – in flower.
Dill, Anethum graveolens
Endive, Cichorium endivia ‘Green Bowl’
Endive, Cichorium endivia ‘Green Curled’
Ethiopian cabbage, Brassica carinata ‘Old Women Meet and Gossip’
French Tarragon, Artemisia dracunculus
Garden cress, Lepidium sativum
Garlic chives, Allium tuberosum
Good King Henry, aka Lincolnshire spinach, Chenopodium bonus-henricus
Green amaranth, Amaranthus viridis
Golden sweetpotato, Ipomoea batatas ‘Marguerite’
Heart leaf ice-plant, Aptenia cordifolia
Huauzontle, Chenopodium berlandieri
Japanese parsley, Cryptotaenia japonica
Kaffir lime, Citrus hystrix
Kale, Tuscan, Brassica oleracea Acephala Group ‘Laciniato’
Kale, variegated, Brassica oleracea Acephala Group
Kohl rabi, Brassica acephala Gongyloides group ‘White Vienna’
Lebanese cress, Aethionema coridifolium
Lemongrass, Cymbopogon flexuosus
Lettuce, Lactuca sativa ‘First Fleet’
Lettuce, Lactuca sativa ‘Royal Oakleaf’
Lettuce, Lactuca sativa ‘Freckles’ (self-sown under ‘Ducasse’ banana)
Lettuce, Lactuca sativa ‘Mixed’
Lovage, Levisticum officinale
Love-lies-bleeding, Amaranthus caudatus
Miners’ lettuce, Claytonia perfoliata (syn. Montia perfoliata)
Mizuna, red-leaved, Brassica juncea var. japonica
Mizuna mixed, Brassica juncea var. japonica
Moroccan mint, Mentha spicata ‘Nana’
Multiplier spring onion, aka multiplier scallion, Allium fistulosum
Multiplier leek, Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum
Mustard, Brassica juncea ‘Giant Red’
Mustard, Brassica juncea ‘Osaka Purple’
Nasturtium, Tropaeolum majus ‘Jewel Mixed’
Native mint, Mentha satureioides
Parsley, Petroselenium crispum ‘Triple Curled’
Parsley, flat-leaved, Petroselenium ‘Giant of Italy’
Phillip Island hibiscus, Hibiscus insularis
Purple fennel, Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’
Radicchio, Cichorium intybus ‘Red Verona’
Radicchio, Cichorium intybus ‘Palla Rossa’
Radicchio, Cichorium intybus
Sacred basil, Ocimum tenuiflorum
Shungiku, aka edible chrysanthemum, Chrysanthemum coronarium
Silverbeet, Beta vulgaris Cicla Group ‘Rainbow Mixed’
Society garlic, Tulbaghia violacea ‘Variegata’
Society garlic, Tulbaghia violacea ‘Fairy Stars’
Stinking Roger, Tagetes minuta
Tatsoi, Brassica narinosus
Turnip, Brassica rapa subsp. rapa ‘Gold Ball’
Variegated four seasons herb, Plectranthus amboinicus ‘Variegatus’
Vietnamese mint, Persicaria odorata
Watercress, Nasturtium officinale ‘Aqua Large-Leaf’
Welsh onion, aka spring onion, scallion, Allium fistulosum
White peppermint, Mentha x piperita ‘Officinalis’
Wild rocket, Diplotaxis tenuifolia

Edible petals
French marigold, Tagetes patula ‘Himalayan’
French marigold, Tagetes patula ‘Scarlet Sophia’
Green banana, Musa x sapientum ‘Pisang Ceylan’
Heartsease, Viola tricolor ‘Johnny Jump Up’

Chilli, Capsicum annuum ‘Siam Gold’
Chilli, Capsicum annuum ‘Red Cayenne’
Finger lime, Citrus australis
Green banana, Musa x sapientum ‘Pisang Ceylan’
Mandarin, Citrus reticulata ‘Parramatta Sweets’
Pawpaw, Carica papaya
Plantain, Musa x sapientum ‘Bluggoe’
Pumpkin, Cucurbita moschata ‘Jap’
Winter melon, Benincasa hispida

Medicinal / Spices

Aloe vera – leaf juice used to heal sunburn, scratches
Bulbine frutescens – leaf juice used to treat burns, rashes, as an infusion for sore throats
Cinnamon, Cinnamomum verum
False cardamom, Alpinia nutans
Galangal, Alpinia galangal – spice used like ginger with similar properties
Ginger, Zingiber official – spice that helps decongestion of catarrh, aids digestion, blood flow
Greater celandine, Chelidonium majus – stem juice kills warts on hands
Phillip Island hibiscus, Hibiscus insularis – used as a tea to soothe sore throats
Rosemary, dwarf, Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Benenden Blue’
Rosemary, fastigiate, Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Miss Jessopp’
Thyme, Thymus serpyllum – antibiotic, used as a gargle against sore throats
Turmeric, Curcuma long – spice with anti-cancer properties

156 taxa
Jerry Coleby-Williams
21st September 2012


One Comment Add yours

  1. Hi Jerry,

    Visiting your open garden day was well worth the 1000 km drive – we have been inspired to add more recycled 600 litre crates and change the diversity of our plantings and add things like oca, white oca, cassava, peruvian ground apple (yacon), miners lettuce – red currants and thornless blackberries and some heirloom squash and pumpkins

    I am intruiged by the phenomenal growth of a tomato seedling that is booming it was raised in the worm farm and came up in the worm castings we put on the banana plants – they are now over 350mm diameter across the truck 🙂

    Following our discussion I had a D7 deep rip 3 lines in each of our orchard beds – 5 x beds about 100m long – I have now filled those rip lines with composted ti tree mulch – just as well I still have a truck – the plan is to add a few truckloads of mushroom
    compost and chicken manure to each bed then when it stabilises plant out the fruit trees – I think the luxury of raised beds for a home orchard is a necessity if the weather cycles between dry and wet – or is it overkill?

    We are having trouble locating suppliers of the herbs and plants that attract beneficial plants and herbs – any suggestions?

    The days are magic here – but as you said less rain than normally have – happy gardening – Bellis is inspirational
    but I still havent decided on the clumping bamboo we will grow.

    Steve & Karen

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