Monday, January 31, 2011

Growing vegetables urgently

As you know there has been flooding further south of us, and that seems to be where most of our vegetables come from.   The supermarket shelves are either bare or filled with very expensive vegetables, so it was with some urgency that I began planting out some seeds this weekend. .....
This was the jungle that I started with....
 During the wet season only certain plants will grow and so I had let them run rather wild.  The loofah had started heading over towards the fence.  Normally we don't started planting regular vegetables until about March, but with the prices in the store I want to get an early start. It does seem a little cooler lately - definitely less humid, which is a good sign.  I cut the loofah away from the fence and threw it up onto the shade cloth.  It can grow there and then back in a line on top of the pigeon peas towards the back fence. These vegetables are going to listen this time - lots of straight lines anticipated - haha. No mucking about creating too much shade - this is serious business!
 To the left of this path I planted a salad mix - heirloom seeds, so I will have to save some seeds if I have a good crop.  Supposed to be good for the tropics, then behind them I planted a few tomato seeds, called tropic red.  Right at the back on the right are sweet potatoes, I will harvest them in about a month and then plant butternut squash in the same place.  Along the fence I have some long Chinese snake beans and cucumbers with daikon radish in front.  Then the rest of the bed is taken up with my ginger which has done well this year.  I don't want to have to store it - does anyone else leave it in the ground year round and just harvest as needed?
 The pawpaw tree that I lopped the top off is growing quite  a few nice new branches well within reach and there is lots of fruit, but for now they are all green.  Cant wait to start eating pawpaws again, we get four or five passionfruit every day.    I put in some parsley seeds to the left of this path - I miss my parsley but it just doesn't grow in the heat of the summer.  In fact all the herbs in the herb spiral have expired, despite the shade of the vine protecting them from the heat.  The mint and tropical oregano are the only ones that survived.
 There is another pawpaw tree  next to the pigeon peas and I am anxious to see if it is a female - I have kept a bunch of little pawpaw trees at the back of this bed just in case.  To the left of this bed is my shallots which seem to be doing well - I am not really sure how or when to harvest them - I think I can just sub-divide them and keep them going year round which will be nice.  Further along I have an eggplant that I let go rotten and then just smooshed it into the ground - hope it grows :)   Behind the trimmed lemongrass I have the bed against the fence where I have planted lots of cherry tomatoes, which do well here....
 This is one of the many loofahs I have hanging around in my food forest!  Oh and I also harvested lots of chili peppers so will have another go at making some chili sauce.
So let those prices go up all they want - we should be self sufficient soon! 


  1. your loofah doing so well. Same everywhere, floods will see a sharp increase on veggie prices.

  2. The weather so strange, in our area here we are facing heatwaves for several day and all the plants are dying or burned to crisp. I make sure I post the seeds to you as soon as possible so you can sow it together. My mother harvest her ginger only the portion she need and leave the plant alone.You have so many vegetable variety growing in your garden. Congratulation, you are one of the "Seed Week" Home-saved seeds give-away winner. I will try to send more seeds to you then.

  3. You might want to look for some chinese broccolli and chinese cabbages,and climbing beans, they grow well and are good for stirfries stalks and all. Good idea about the cherry toms, that good for salads.Which sweet potato do you have? I am posting your chutney tomorrow.

  4. Nice to see you have that many variety of edible plants. How long have you been growing the passion fruit? Mine hasn't fruited yet but I do get pawpaw regularly.

  5. Sounds like you'll be chomping away like regular little bunnies once all those seeds have taken :)

  6. Hope your veg garden produces well for you. It is a smart idea to grow your own. In the big stores here a lot of the produce is shipped from other countrys. I noticed avacados from Chile and tomatos and cucumbers from Mexico. They grow varietys for long storage life not taste and only God knows what chemicals have been put on them. I think you are definitely on the right path.

  7. You are so right Africanaussie and very smart to be planting. The Lockyer Valley, near here, grew a big percentage of our fresh produce. It was called Queensland's Salad Bowl and was wiped out by the floods. They will take quite some time to recover. Most fruit and veges in the shops will be expensive and/or imported for the next few months.

  8. Wow, I also wish your veggie garden can take off so that you can have organic vegie and save some money for your other gardening spending :) Do you also use loofah for food? I love it when it is still tender. I love the long Chinese snake bean as well. My garden does not have a good spot for veggie. I grew beans and tomatos in the container. It is fun! Good luck again!

  9. Bangchik,
    Yes the loofah love this weather...
    Malay Kadazan girl,
    thank you so much, I look forward to the seeds. Send me your address so that I can send you yours! thanks for the advice on the ginger - I thought I would be able to do that.
    I didnt have success with chinese brocoli last year - thought maybe I would wait with those seeds. I just have the regular orange sweet potatoes. Looking forward to that chutney - yum.
    My passionfruit vine started fruiting within a year but then here they get a virus so I planted another vine which has taken over.
    lets hope so, there is a cylcone heading towards us right now...
    It is amazing how good produce tastes straight out of the garden. I agree that mass produced produce has less and less flavour.
    I am researching recipes to adapt to what grows locally. It is a pity that it take something that that to spur us on.
    I do like the angled loofah when small but this one is not so nice. I am also growing those long green beans, they are very prolific. .

  10. It's becoming more important to grow as much of our own food as possible.. Good luck on your garden. Great post-thanks for the info!


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