Brazilian Spinach thrives in the Brisbane summer

I put my allotment to bed for our long hot summer under a blanket of horse manure and a thick layer of mulch.

However, a small cutting of Brazilian Spinach (Poor Man’s Spinach) really took off.

This plant was a bit of a cutting gifted by another gardener. I had to give it a chance, so I stuck it into the ground at the beginning of summer – and it has spread and flourished despite the heat, weeks of drought, tropical downpours, and neglect. (It could have tapped into some of that horse manure of course!)

Brazilian Spinach is suitable for tropical and sub-tropical climates only, but it is great to have a member of the spinach family that will keep me in greens during the summer when other varieties have turned up their toes. This is how my plant looked this morning and I have been cutting at it for weeks now. The recent heavy rains gave it a burst of life.

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I noticed that the plant is already putting down fresh roots so if you are a Brisbane gardener and want a root of it – you are welcome. It would need to be collected from the farm. You can also propagate it by putting a cutting in a jar of water and it will sprout roots.

I add this spinach to soups, stir fries and frittata but I also wanted to try it in a pesto and this is a great recipe I found on the Yandina Community Gardens website.

Brazilian Spinach with Macadamia Nut Pesto

Ingredients:

Bunch of brazilian spinach leaves

1 cup basil leaves

3-4 large cloves garlic

½ cup olive oil

¼ teaspoon sea salt

2 cups macadamia nuts (I have also used walnut or cashews)

juice of half a lemon

Method:

Combine all ingredients in food processor until smooth.  If mixture is a bit thick, you can add a small amount of water, bit at a time, until it looks right.

Happy Gardening.

A Scarecrow Competition

I thought I would be planting like mad as this is the time to really get stuck into the garden for our best growing season but we have had tropical storms and driving rain for days and the ground is waterlogged. I stuck in the big fork and heard an unmistakeable “squelch”. Not a good idea to plant seeds into that.

On a lighter note we had great fun at the allotments the other day when we held our Easter morning tea and ran a Scarecrow Competition.

Here are some of the entries.

My friend Di with her entry “Costa”  – if you watch Gardening Australia it might give you a clue.

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Narda, my allotment neighbour, entered “the schoolteacher”. Can you see the little children in blue uniforms at her feet? Must have taken her hours.

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Then we had the french theme from Celine (who is french) and James (wearing the cardboard moustache). The three of them in french berets. They carried the theme through with the french wine on the table and french music playing. Impressive. All the cameras came out at this scene.

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So far no crows have been scared by these entries but they are great fun, and heaps of work went into them.

My neighbour on the other side, Bernice, entered “Stone the Crows” using a leaf rake for a face. She is holding a catapult ready to fire at the crow sitting at the other end of the allotment.

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Here is the crow. Rather a sad and resigned expression I thought. I’m still laughing just looking at it. Bernice won first prize.

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We had many more great entries in this competition – but there was one rather pathetic entry – mine. I cut up my son’s clothes to dress her. I made her skirt from one of his pair of trousers, a shirt for the scarf round her neck, and he donated an old pair of shoes. I stuffed a pair of my tights to make her legs but after I had stuffed them with straw she had a bad case of varicose veins. With that pink blouse and big red smile I don’t really think she will be scaring many crows. If it was marked I can see the result “Jean needs to try harder.”

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She is standing in the corner of my allotment, you can tell by the undisturbed straw mulch that there is not a lot of planting going on at the moment.

It’s Easter Sunday here already on the east coast of Australia …. Happy Easter.

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Writing about all things thrifty, home cooking, fun on a budget and living between Cornwall and Huelgoat in Brittany.

Jerry Coleby-Williams

Sustainable Gardening in our Continually Surprising Climate

The Power of Thrift

and other ramblings

Nourishing Traditions

The Blog that Challenges Policitally Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

could do worse

adventures in London

Allotmentals Plot 103

Allotment, garden and daytrips

Pickle Me Too

Nourishing foods for the whole family (including pickles!)

myproductivebackyard

Sustainable Backyard Food Production

My Front Burner

making what matters

30 acres of sunshine

organic, sustainable and self-sufficient hobby farm in the making

Lottie Land Girl

Living the 'Good Life' the Brown way!

Throwback at Trapper Creek

An ongoing chronicle of meeting the expectations of the land...

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