2015 SUMMER – DECEMBER TO FEBRUARY

???????????????????????????????????????????????
At the beginning of the rain which has been good for most of January. The cucumbers around the corn cropped exceptionally well and died off the moment the rain stopped.

12.01.15

After a hot dry start to the season we have had good on-off rain for the last couple of weeks. The 5000lt tank is full – wish I had more of them! – the garden is happy, the grass hasn’t stopped growing and is a good source of material for the compost pile.

I have already cropped and eaten one lot of corn. There’s time for another crop. I’m trying it out with the cucumber around the edges and it seems to be working well enough.

I haven’t had the time this year to grow anything much from seed myself, apart from the odd thing direct sown into the beds.

01.02.15

What a busy old month it’s been one way and another. Out of work yet again but trying to remain positive.

I’ve been introduced to some new and interesting plants like Maranta for it’s edible tuber. So many plants I used to grow decoratively turn out to be edible or have edible cousins. Yandina Community Gardens always have some new and valuable food plants to try, like this Mecuna wenna (as it was sold to me) or Mukunuwenna (below) which turns out to be another type of Alternanthera like the Brazilian Spinach.

?????????????????????????????????????
Mukunuwenna
????????????????????????????????????????????????????
Maranta grown for it’s edible tubers. Very nice eating.

I’ve managed to fit in two crops of corn this summer much to my delight. Had the pleasure of watching my 4yr old grandson consuming one of the cobs yesterday.

??????????????????
Second crop of corn. I thought the rain had ruined the pollination but the cobs have turned out well on the whole.
?????????????????????????
Dwf Pink Shatoot mulberry fruit – very sweet.
??????????????????????????????
Kevin, the pig that might fly. Farewell gift from my wonderful colleagues at work.
???????????????????????????????????
Jakfruit growing in a large tub is flowering! Will be fascinating to see if it fruits.
????????????????????????????????????????????
Now this is one special plant (thank you Janet). Janet’s Mum just calls it choy (Chinese for vegetable). We don’t know it’s scientific name but it’s a fabulous substitute for lettuce which won’t grow here in summer. Self seeds like crazy I’m assured. Can’t wait.
?????????????????????????????????????????
I fall for it every year – plant one or two pumpkin plants and they take over the backyard. The plant seems to need to reach a certain size before it will start producing fruit.
????????????????????????????????????????
Sweet Potato towers x 2 under this mass of plants. They just took off with the rain. I really must tip them out and harvest the crop.
??????????????????
I don’t know why I love them so much but I can’t get enough eggplant. Love the varieties and colours that they come in, like little jewels. This one is Fairytale.
????????????????????????
Lavender Blush (thank you to Josh for the plant).
????????????????????????
Unknown variety – probably Black Beauty by the looks of it. Gorgeous thing.
?????????????????????????????????????????
Clitoria ternatea – edible blue flowers used by Asian folk to colour their food – mostly desserts from what I can gather. Can’t bring myself to turn my food blue but love having them in the garden.
?????????????????????????????????????????
First of this seasons Dragonfruit and it was deeelicious.
?????????????????????????????????
The flower that produced the fruit.
????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
Some of the Garden Snails now free roaming from my defunct snail farm.
???????????????????????????????????????
Where the snails live – around this pond. They come up at night and dip their shells in the water to rehydrate.
?????????????????????
My first ever Pomegranates. This plant was grown from seed from a really good fruit I ate one day. These fruit are tiny in comparison to the ones you buy in the shops. Hopefully it will improve as it ages.
???????????????????????????????????????????????
Fruit from my Pomegranate opened. A bit too much on the tart side and too much seed in each grain to be palatable.
???????????????????
Jaboticaba fruit. Best crop yet. The fruit is delicious – very grape like in flavour with a wad of seed in the middle. I suck the middle out, swallow the lot whole and spit out the tough skin.
??????????????????????????????????
The Jaboticaba fruit growing directly out of the trunk of the tree. Crops three times a year!
???????????????????????????????????
The Moringa is finally growing. High in protein everything is edible from the leaves to the pods. Delicious in chicken dishes but would lend itself to a variety of uses.
?????????????????????????????????????????
Ceylon Hill Gooseberry. Now maybe 4yrs old and I’m still waiting for any crop….but such pretty flowers.
????????????????????????????
Chia plants bought from the market the other week. I took cuttings from these rather leggy plants and just shoved them in and they have taken off.

2 thoughts on “2015 SUMMER – DECEMBER TO FEBRUARY”

  1. This post excites me beyond belief! I sense a kindred gardening spirit albeit a tropical one to my temperate maritime one. I gave up trying to grow corn here. It just doesn’t do very well. Our summer has been very mild compared to usual and we have had a fair bit of rain which seems to have dried up now but usually I will have been watering the veggie garden since December, I have only just had to start watering in the last few weeks. Your new veggies are very interesting. I gave my Maranta away without realising that it actually has edible tubers…oh NO! :(. Your jackfruit looks awesomely healthy as do those interesting “choy” leaves. Do they taste nice? I find a fair few Chinese veggies are not very appetising eaten as salad unless they are very small leaves indeed. I have pumpkins growing all around the perimeter of Sanctuary (fully enclosed veggie garden) and a few reasonably large fruit growing. I, too, have found that they have to get pretty big before they will fruit. Maybe it’s just the bigger fruiting varieties that have this penchant? I took some cuttings from a friends sweet potato and they struck in a glass of water in 3 days! I planted them out and aside from one that the dog tap-danced on, the rest are starting to take off. I never realised that you could grow cuttings from sweet potato vines but now I do there will be no stopping me!

    I adore eggplants. I doubt I will get any this year from my shrubs as I planted them out too late and the season has been particularly cool but I have them planted and that is part of the joy. I wish I had some of that Clitoria ternatea…blue food? Awesome! Did you grow those Dragon fruit yourself? Amazing! How long did they take from you planting out the succulent to you getting fruit from them?

    I love that your snails are almost trained now ;). A friend just grew pomegranates from seed. If yours are small and sparse where you live, I can only imagine that hers will be minuscule if they fruit at all in cold Victoria but we have to try these experiments don’t we?

    Again you are making me drool with desire. Jaboticaba fruit? You lucky girl! I have 5 Moringa babies growing in the glasshouse at the moment. I want to try to get all of them to grow so that I can plant them out. Your little plant looks very healthy. I love that they are so very useful. I am going to watch this space closely to see how your little plant goes. I really want to have moringa on the property.

    Never heard of Ceylon Hill Gooseberry. Looks like a type of guava to me? You can take cuttings from chia? AWESOME! I love your blog, you teach me so much :). I reckon you would love a Facebook page that I haunt like a wraith most days. Its called “Fans of Grassroots Magazine Australia” and is full to the brim with amazing people growing fantastic things and all of them are like us, “normal people” (if there is such a thing) and generous to a “T” with their advice and plant material. Lots of them live up where you do so I am thinking it would be a great way for you to network with locals and other people that may become great friends. If you use Facebook, here is the page if you are interested…

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/grassrootsmag/

    Cheers for such an awesome blog post. I really enjoy reading all about what you are doing in the garden and your wonderful patch. 🙂

    Like

  2. Morning Narf 🙂
    It makes me happy that you’re happy! WordPress behaves oddly – I get the blog looking the way I want but when I publish it turns out looking different with pics on top of other pics and descriptions lost down below. Will not doubt get used to working with it as time passes.

    I’ve just taken a quick look at your latest blog and I had the same reaction – good lord! they have berries and stone fruit!! (my mouth watering).

    Why not give Jaboticaba a go? They are incredibly hardy in my experience. Nothing ventured nothing gained.

    Would you like some seed for the Clitoria ternatea? Hmmmmmmm little girl?? Send me your address and I will post some. Pretty sure there is some out there. The prettiest thing and who can resist turning at least some of their food blue without poisoning themselves.

    Sweet potato grow great in tubs. Let them loose in the garden and they will take over with lots of (edible) leaves. But grow them in a tub with a tower for growing their leaves and you get the same amount of crop but in one small tidy spot. I crop and replant every 4mths or so. I don’t stick to any strict routines.

    The Choy is genuinely useful and delicious and I am thrilled to own it.

    The dragonfruit grow in no time at all. The red skinned white fleshed one seems to be the quickest grower and produces lots of fruit. The yellow takes longer, is spikier and the fruit smaller though tastier. I have a red fleshed one which is growing very slowly and has never fruited. Cuttings available down there? Very hardy in the post.

    I also have a “Wonderful” pomegranate bought from Daleys. Still waiting for any fruit from it. If it produces good sized fruit, unlike the seed grown, then the seed grown is dead meat.

    Watch those Moringa, they can grow into huge trees if not kept trimmed. The asian folk sell great quantities of leaves at the local farmers markets along with other (to me) exotic things.

    I will check out the FB page you suggest.

    Bit of a sad time here at the moment. Out of a job again since Friday so must spend time this morning job hunting. I have a little bit of training work coming up thanks to an old friend, but not enough to support me and the old dogs.
    Thanks for taking the time to look at the blog 🙂

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s