In Production Today – January

Cocoyam, Xanthosoma saggitifoliaIt’s hot and humid and, despite a few promising showers, my garden is parched. Until the soil gets a decent soaking, I won’t be sowing anything new.

I’m wondering if there will be a repeat of last summer, when five rain-free months ended with Cyclone Oswald on Australia Day.

On the up side, I have had an embarrassment of Green Amaranth. On 10.1.14, I harvested 2.5kg premium leaves from this wild ‘spinach’ from a 10 square metre bed. The surplus has made a nice compost activator.

‘Queensland Rough’ Pineapples are cropping really well. Since my neighbours stopped keeping chickens, rat damage to crops, pineapples especially, has visibly declined. I had enough pineapples and Tahitian limes to indulge in a few pina coladas. Here’s a recipe:

Pina Colada (one serve)
60 ml white rum
20 ml Tahitian lime juice
30 ml fresh coconut milk
60 ml fresh Qld Rough pineapple juice
Add honey to sweeten to taste

Elsewhere, turmeric, galangal, winged yam, capsicum, aerial potato and sweetpotato are performing very well.

This month my chilli started dropping – I’m not picking them fast enough – but my Curry leaf bush (Helichrysum italicum) died. Too dry for too long in the front garden.

The Florence fennel ‘Zefa-Fino’, and Italian flat-leaved parsley are flowering but looking tired. Papaw and pepino are looking good, but the strawberries, Good King Henry and Davidson’s plum are resting.

Let’s hope the wet season arrives, and that it’s kind…

Edible roots
Arrowroot, Canna edulis
Cassava, Manihot esculenta
Cassava, Manihot esculenta ‘Variegata’
Cocoyam, Xanthosoma saggitifolia
Eschallot, Allium cepa var. aggregatum
Jerusalem artichoke, Helianthus tuberosus ‘Dwarf Sunray’
Radish, Raphanus sativus ‘French Breakfast’
Turnip, Brassica rapa ‘Gold Ball’
Yam, Winged, Dioscorea alata

Edible leaves
Basil, sacred, Ocimum tenuiflorum
Cassava, Manihot esculenta
Cassava, Manihot esculenta ‘Variegata’
Celery stem taro, aka Tahitian spinach, Alocasia esculenta
Chervil, Anthriscus cerefolium
Chinese celery, aka smallage, Apium graveolens
Chinese spinach, aka Joseph’s Coat, Amaranthus tricolor ‘Flaming Fountains’

Chinese spinach, Amaranthus ‘Mekong Red’
Chives, Allium schoenoprasum
Curry leaf, Murraya koenigii
Dill, Anethum graveolens
Endive, Cichorium endiva ‘Green Bowl’
Florence fennel, Foeniculum vulgare Azoricum Group ‘Zefa-Fino’
Garlic chives, Allium tuberosum
Green Amaranth, Amaranthus viridis
Heart leaf ice-plant, Aptenia cordifolia
Japanese parsley, Cryptotaenia japonica
Kale, Brassica oleracea Acephala group ‘Two Peters’
Kaffir lime, Citrus hystrix
Kangkong, Ipomoea aquatica
Lebanese cress, Aethionema coridifolium
Lemongrass, Cymbopogon citratus
Lemongrass, Native, Cymbopogon flexuosus
Lovage, Levisticum officinale
Love-lies-bleeding, Amaranthus caudatus
Mexican tree spinach, Cnidoscolus aconitifolius
Mint, apple, Mentha suaveolens
Mint, native, Mentha satureoides
Mint, Moroccan, Mentha spicata
Nasturtium, Tropaeolum majus
Parsley, Petroselenium crispum ‘Italian flat-leaved’
Purslane, Wild, Portulaca oleracea
Purslane, Golden, Portulaca oleracea var. sativa
Radicchio, Cichorium intybus
Rocket, Wall or wild, Eruca sativa
Society garlic, Tulbaghia violacea ‘Variegata’
Society garlic, Tulbaghia violacea ‘Fairy Stars’
Stinking Roger, Tagetes minuta
Sweetpotato, Ipomoea batatas ‘Ace of Spades’
Sweetpotato, Ipomoea batatas ‘Marguerite’
Variegated four seasons herb, Plectranthus amboinicus ‘Variegatus’
Variegated four seasons herb, Plectranthus amboinicus ‘Bayside Beauty’
Vietnamese mint, Persicaria odorata
Welsh onion, aka spring onion, scallion, Allium fistulosum
Perennial Welsh onion, aka perennial spring onion, scallion, Allium fistulosum
Warrigal greens, Tetragonia tetragonioides

Edible petals
Begonia x semperflorens
Goldenrod, Solidago sp.
Pigeon pea, Cajanus cajan
Rocket, Wall or wild, Eruca sativa

Edible pods
Pigeon pea, Cajanus cajan

Edible seed
Chilean wine palm, Jubaea chilensis
Madagascar bean, Phaseolus lunatus
Pigeon pea, Cajanus cajan

* Capsicum, ‘golden’, a home raised cultivar, Capsicum annuum
Chilli, Capsicum annuum ‘Portuguese Peri Peri’
Chilli, Capsicum annuum ‘Siam Gold’
Green banana, Musa x sapientum ‘Goldfinger’
Green banana, Musa x sapientum ‘Java Blue’
Green banana, Musa x sapientum ‘Ladyfinger’
Kaffir lime, Citrus hystrix
Lemon, Citrus x limon ‘Meyer’
Lime, Australian Sweet, Citrus x latifolia
Lime, Tahitian, Citrus x latifolia
Mouse melon, Melothria scabra
Naranjilla, Solanum quitoense

Edible sap

Sugar palm, Arenga pinnata

Medicinal / Spices
Aloe vera – leaf juice used to heal sunburn, scratches, and for shampoo
Bulbine frutescens – leaf juice used to treat burns, rashes, as an infusion for sore throats
Cinnamon, Cinnamomum verum
Cardamom, False, Alpinia nutans
Galangal, Alpinia galangal – spice used like ginger with similar properties
Ginger, Zingiber officinalis  – spice that helps decongestion of catarrh, aids digestion, blood flow
Greater celandine, Chelidonium majus – stem juice kills warts on hands
Krachai (root), Boesenbergia rotunda
Rosemary, dwarf, Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Benenden Blue’
Rosemary, fastigiate, Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Miss Jessopp’
Skullcap, Scutellaria lateriflora
Turmeric, Curcuma longa – spice with anti-cancer properties

81 taxa

Jerry Coleby-Williams


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Nat says:

    I’m in the same wonderment about flooding – I live near Gympie and last three Januarys/Feb have been crazy floodwise! Heehee…an embarrassment of amaranth, me too – my guinea pigs love it – might have to use it in a stir fry myself 🙂

  2. Carol says:

    My word that is a productive garden, good on you! Dec and Jan have been ‘keep the garden alive’ months for me. No planting – except in the aquaponics system which is a world of its own. A young lychee died – it has never liked me, but the 41 degrees day finished it off. Thanks for the cocktail recipe. I have mint aplenty so its Mojitos here – crush lime, mint and two teaspoons of sugar together, add a pleasant amount of Bicardi and top up with soda water. Drink through a straw if you don’t want green mint leaves wallpapering your teeth. Drink. Make another. Happy Summer Days.

  3. Alicia says:

    Hi Jerry, Love your posts as we are establishing a permaculture garden in Wynnum so everything is lovely and relevant to us! We have had massive success with Thai Pink Egg tomatoes recently (seeds from greenharvest) compared to other heirlooms around the yard. They seem to be a prolific and perfect fit for our climate, they will now be a staple for us. Can you reccommed any other that may suit as well? So many plants and so little time! Such fun!

    1. Alicia, Every month I publish a list of crops In Production Today in this blog. Cheers, Jerry

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