If you want protein-rich pigeon peas by the bucketful, grow them in drought. And plant pigeon peas for food, shade, shelter, forage and bees. Grow them in a school food garden to discover which species of native bee live in the vicinity. Use this food plant as a school science project!
“I decided to note down the 111 different things currently on the menu from my 300 square metre subtropical food garden. Ongoing drought has affected fruit production – I made just 340 jars of jams and marmalades this autumn instead of the usual 800…Whatever the weather, there will always be winners and losers in a garden, the key is growing a variety of useful, climate appropriate plants so there’s always food on the table”.
“Salsa verde, chilled and freshly made from home grown tomatillos (Physalis philadelphica), is great on a hot day. An excuse for not cooking on (another) one of those sticky subtropical summer days”.
We ignore the following key aspects of sustainable food production at our peril:
* A culture of forgetting – we forget our horticultural history;
* Declining crop diversity, both in the range of species grown and in the genetic diversity within each crop;
* The oversimplification and impoverishment of systems of food production;
* A reluctance to apply the precautionary principle where using the least toxic solution in crop protection comes first;
I’m waiting for the summer wet season to start. Until the rain arrives, there is little cloud to filter the hot sunlight.
Thank goodness for old net curtains and shadecloth!
I thought I would… Continue reading
With 100 square metres of good soil you can feed a person all year round. That’s what my ‘Dig for Victory’ grandparents taught me when I was a teenager in London. Here in… Continue reading
When I started my garden at Bellis in 2003, it consisted of Queensland Blue couch, fences and a house. Starting a garden completely from scratch is a rare opportunity for many gardeners. This… Continue reading
Cucumber mosaic virus is a threat to food security. Last year this highly destructive disease was identified on a farm near Bundaberg, and now it has been found on a Charters Towers watermelon farm.… Continue reading
Here’s my subtropical food garden’s current autumn menu. Plants marked with an asterisk are volunteers, that is they are self-sown. Currently I have 38 different volunteer crops.
Here’s my subtropical food garden’s current summer menu of 107 different kinds of root, shoot, leaf, petal, seed and fruit.
I imagine everyone is outdoors, harvesting their mangelwurzels (Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima) today like me. A friend is thinking about brewing mangelwurzel beer, they’re supposed to make a potent drop. Alcohol is not… Continue reading
Rain. Finally! At last the lawn has grown enough for me to cut it for the second time since autumn, my team of lawn mowing guinea pigs can’t eat it fast enough. The hot,… Continue reading