Good fences make good neighbours

Good fences make good neighbours even over at the allotments.

My sweet potatoes wanted to take over Brisbane one runner at a time and I was having difficulty keeping them off my neighbour’s allotment as the railway sleepers dividing our plots had rotted and the boundary was lost.

No problem. Batman (aka Peter who oversees our allotments) to the rescue. Sawing and lifting these railway sleepers is not for the faint hearted but in no time, and with help from Brian and Tyron, he had two new sleepers in place and peace reigned once again down at the allotments. No turf wars will be erupting between the lovely young family gardening ‘next door’, and me!  Thanks Pete.

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The new boundary

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The new railway sleepers on the left of my sweet potato bed

The weather in Brisbane is still hot and we are getting temperatures of 28c degrees even though we are well into Autumn so I’m going over to the allotment in the early morning to beat the worst of the heat. April is the beginning of my best growing season and things are happening again. I have planted two lots of beans which are coming through. A couple of rows of dwarf beans and the climbing “Kentucky Wonder”.

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Dwarf beans

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Climbing beans “Kentucky Wonder” staring to pop up (in the background with the circular metal support)

It may seem strange to folk in the UK who are used to big allotments to see my two tiny plots of eight square metres each. One is given over to the  sweet potato so to get a variety in the other eight square metres I need to plant small quantities. But it still amazes me just how much food I harvest from my little patch of earth. I even pick enough to pickle sometimes.

Below, you can see the beetroot is coming along nicely, I’ll be pickling it when it’s ready, but you can also steam the leaves and use it like silverbeet or spinach.

Beetroot

Beetroot

Wednesday morning is always busy over at the allotments when we all get together, and volunteers work on the community garden. We break for morning tea at 10am, these morning teas are legendary. As well as cake and enough tea to float the back teeth it’s an opportunity to taste relishes, pesto, chutney and all manner of things people make using produce from their allotments and the community garden.

At morning tea today we were asked for a few volunteers to help pick the rosella’s as the bushes were laden. These rosella’s are used to make jam and raise funds for the farm. Below is just one of our rosella bushes. I don’t look very busy in the photo but I promise you I filled my bucket.

Harvesting Rosella's for jam

Harvesting Rosella’s for jam

Happy gardening,

Now THAT is what you call a sweet potato

Now THAT is what you call a sweet potato! Thank you grandson Jerry and friend Tatiana who gave me the original tubers.

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And what surprised me is that I cooked one of them last night and it was delicious, not woody at all.

I have eight square metres devoted to sweet potato and I have a feeling this will not be the last photograph I’m going to post. I think you are going to have to humour me over this.

Happy gardening.

 

A visit to the allotment with my brother David

My brother David is over from the UK and I took him with me to the allotment this morning. He bought his camera along and snapped away.

My first sweet potato of the season. It’s a beauty. (We had it with dinner this evening, roasted in the oven.)

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Then I picked a lovely fresh cos lettuce. Time for David to get out his zoom lens (the old show-off)

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Then we took our morning’s pickings over to the communal sink and he took this shot of the harvest – a bucket full of sweet potato, cos lettuce and a few rocket leaves. The little white choko is from the share table, it had been abandoned and needed a good home.

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Finally David captured this lovely shot of a flower on my allotment which I planted there to encourage the good insects and bees.

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Happy gardening.

Green Journey

You might want to check out the Green Journey website. Full of interesting information about living a more sustainable life. One of the things they do each month is to share the experiences of people who are creating positive change through small steps at home and/or at work.

I am the feature story this month.  Here is the link

The allotment is still a bit sparse at the moment but I do like to finish with a photo so here is a pic of one day’s harvest from my allotment last season. Hopefully it won’t be too long before I’m picking a great variety of veggies again!

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Happy gardening.

 

Making Scarecrows

It’s Easter school holidays and today we held a workshop for children and grandparents at Beelarong Community Farm where I have my allotment.

The theme was scarecrows. The children were given the opportunity of making a scarecrow with the usual shirt and trousers stuffed with straw, or a mobile to whiz round in the breeze to keep the crows away from crops.

Kath, who is on the committee at the farm, ran the workshop. She has admitted to being a bit of a bower-bird and throws nothing away that can be used at some stage for craft work so the children had plenty of choice pieces to work with.

Here is the final result. One scarecrow, and the boys chose to make a mobile to take away with them and set up in their garden at home.

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Great to have these young people at the farm.

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and other ramblings

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