A Sunday Drive up to Toowoomba

I took a drive up to Toowoomba yesterday, a picturesque city at the top of the Great Dividing Range with wonderful views over the Lockyer Valley.

This was a treat organised by my friend Tatiana and the idea was to travel through the beautiful Lockyer Valley and visit the wonderful farmer’s markets on the way.  The Lockyer Valley is the fruit and vegetable farming area that was absolutely devastated in the floods of January 2011.

Tatiana picked me up at 7am and went on to collect Judy who made the third member of our party. And off we set. The day was perfect for a drive out, warm and sunny and we tootled along enjoying the wonderful scenery on the way.

We had a great time filling up the car with plants, fruit trees (yes, trees), bags of fruit and veggies all at a most amazing price. $1 for a beautiful cauliflower. And it was wonderful to be buying locally from the folk who grow the stuff. I couldn’t resist a red cabbage, so solid and heavy and just waiting to be turned into pickled cabbage!  Also couldn’t walk past a huge bag of beetroot just asking to be pickled. (It’s Monday morning now, guess what I’ll be doing in the kitchen all day?)

It has been years since I went to Toowoomba, it’s such a pretty city and at the end of September it’s the annual Carnival of Flowers so the blossoms were already out. The last market we visited was in Toowoomba itself – by the time the car was packed up to the gunnels I don’t know how the three of us fitted back into the car.

But then it was time for lunch. There are some great pubs in Toowoomba (I’m sounding like a travel guide) and we found one right next to the market that served a grand steak. And time for a glass of wine for the lucky passengers as the driver looked on!

A relaxed drive back to Brisbane and then it was the opportunity for me to check out Tatiana’s veggie garden. I had heard all about it as she worked on setting up her raised beds and establishing fruit trees. The plants were bursting with life. Naturally, out came my camera.

Raised beds in Tatiana’s garden

It was a grand day, thank you Tatiana.  I really should make the effort to get out of town more often, but I suppose then it wouldn’t be a treat.

So I’m back to the kitchen now to get out that vinegar and the pickling spices.

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. narf77
    Sep 10, 2012 @ 06:50:47

    Talking about red cabbage…I found a blog where people were growing red cabbages from the cut bases. I didn’t believe them but Steve just potted the base of our last red cabbage up and its growing again! Apparently you can do it with celery as well. I didn’t realise that our veggies could be grown that way and it certainly makes for an interesting science project 😉 What a wonderful blog post Jean! I have promised myself that one day I am going to make it to Queensland to see the tropics and one of my bucket list items is to eat my weights worth of Northern Queensland tropical fruit. What sort of fruit trees did a car load of girls possibly fit in? Cheers for another wonderful read 🙂

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Sep 10, 2012 @ 06:59:32

      Thanks for the kind words Fran. One of the trees was a blueberry tree with currants already on it. She did look at a weeping tree with blossoms on it but that would have meant one of us clinging to the roof on the way back. So we left that.
      I know about the trick with celery, but I wish that I had known about the red cabbage trick before I ‘tidied up’ the cabbage this morning and chopped up the base of it for the compost heap.

      Reply

      • narf77
        Sep 10, 2012 @ 10:27:31

        Yeh it’s amazing! I didn’t really believe it but the red cabbage base that we bought at the grocers is now sporting not one, but two lovely new cabbages! There are apparently lots of veggies that regenerate, maybe scientists should be looking into veggies to see how humans can live forever eh? (just learn to photosynthesise and live on chlorophyl and we will be imortal! ;))

  2. Tatiana
    Sep 10, 2012 @ 11:55:04

    Ooo, don’t forget the gooseberry bush, the pawpaw, the huge clivea, several Toowoomba violets, the two broms, numerous seedlings, the 16 avocados, the duck eggs, bags of fruit and veg, the strawberries, several jars of pickles ( I unfortunately don’t have the culinary talents Jean possesses).
    I did think of buying the almond tree but as you need two I left it there 😜
    And all this and probably more in a Mini!

    Thanks for your cheery company Jean. And happy growing 😃and I will see you Friday for our gardening group

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Sep 10, 2012 @ 12:31:03

      Tatiana thank you for the list. How did you pack it all into the mini (I forgot to mention the car was a mini) and still leave space for Judy and myself? While I’m pickling I expect you will be planting all those trees, bushes and seedlings. No rest for the wicked as they say – me, not you of course Tatiana.

      Reply

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