Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Don't you just love free stuff?

I had been bemoaning the fact that the grocery stores had a very limited choice of dried beans, and then walked into the expensive local health food store and saw their variety!   Wow!  Black beans, azuki beans - I was in heaven, but at 5.00 for  a little bag I didn't think buying those beans would be something I would be doing very often.  Then I started thinking about the climate that black beans grew in - well, if they can grow in Mexico - why not here? After making a batch of my yummy black bean and corn soup  into the garden went a handful of my health food store beans, and they have all come up!
 Now I am not sure if they are growing in the right season, but they sure do look healthy, I am so glad that I saved some seeds back.  How exciting - I might be able to grow my own black beans here!  then I tried with some azuki beans - same thing, yeah!

Then I started doing a bit of research on chia seeds.  Amazingly these little seeds have more omega 3 than salmon.   Well I can't grow salmon in my garden (sure wish I could!)  but..... maybe I can try some chia?  So once again I ventured into the very expensive health food store and picked up an 8.00 bag of chia seeds and a handful have now been broadcast into the area vacated by the radishes. Look at them ... no, I cant see any coming up yet either!  Oh well I suppose you win some and you lose some.:)

 we had some small trees cut down around the place, and they left us the mulch, there was a bit of green mixed in and I thought it would act as an accelerator, but it seems to have formed a mold which I don't think is a good sign.   I wet it down - put the hose right into the middle of the pile so that it got good and wet, and stirred it up a bit.  I want to get some coffee grounds to mix in - I would like some seaweed, but there is no seaweed on the beaches at the moment.
 Since everything already has a layer of hay mulch I have distributed some over the gardens.  I hope that layer of hay is enough to stop the nitrogen draw down that could occur if the mulch was placed directly onto the soil.
 This middle bed has very poor soil and I hope that once the rains come it will perk up.  We might have to invest in some chook poo or something to give it a boost.   I think everyone will complain about the smell.
 My poor pawpaw trees keep getting what I have been told is a fungus, so I went ahead and sprayed with milky water to see if that will do any good.  The pawpaws are just sitting there big and swollen and green, waiting for it to warm up.....  yummy I am looking forward to some nice ripe pawpaw.

I have planted loofah, pigeon pea and jicama from the seeds that I saved,  yakon tubers and rosella seeds were procured from  friends.   The sweet potato that I left in the ground have started to shoot up again, and there is plenty of ginger just waiting to shoot up again as soon as the rains start.

What a wonderful feeling to know that I have completed my wet season planting without buying a single packet of seeds.


  1. I love your idea of buying beans for eating and holding a few back. If you get a good black bean harvest that would have been a very clever trick. Bummer about the chia.

    I'm experimenting with collecting seeds both from the garden and from shop food (like capsicum seeds, garlic, ginger...). It's not always successful (though much of it is still awaiting a go), but it's always cheap!

  2. Those bean plants look really healthy, hope you get a good harvest.

  3. Growing your own beans is a great idea. I hope you harvest plenty of beans for your local consumption.

  4. Well, how neat is that? I hope you can harvest your own beans, and you never know, maybe the chia will sprout yet...

    Gardening is always an adventure, isn't it?

  5. I love your posts! You always tackle things so passionately and you show such gratitude for life. Holding thumbs for abundant harvests! The common area gardens have grown since you first featured your labour of love. Well done on caring enough to make a difference and a valuable contribution.

  6. Oooh, I love this idea...I think I will give it a try too....I hope your chia pop up soon.

  7. the chia are starting to pop up ! :) so excited about that!
    It is nice to know too that the beans we are buying are fresh and viable. I tried garlic, but it just doesn't grow here (even what I bought from the local market, but that is grown on the tablelands) - wish I could grow it. that's right - nothing to lose I say.
    Garden girl,
    There are flowers already.
    Solitude Rising,
    It is looking good and they don't seem to be bothered by bugs of any kind - so far!
    Yes gardening can completely take over your life if you let it... I think I have a bit more balance now that it is set up.
    thank you! I am glad my enthusiasm comes across on the pages. Getting nice comments from readers is very inspiring as well.
    Yes I am thinking any seeds I find now are worth trying.

  8. Wonderful idea to try planting those beans~so glad they came up for you! Everything you're growing looks great!

  9. How nice to have free mulch and good for the soil too. Hope you have plenty of home-grown beans soon.

  10. Everything looks terrific. Nice idea about those expensive beans.
    I have high humidity and high temps, but the beans here in Texas love the cooler Spring temps up to about 30C. I've tried a lot of beans and I think the black beans will do fine. They grow in the Caribbean so they are heat loving.
    Mung beans did terrible for me.
    Pinto Beans do great if you can get dry weather during harvest.
    I use leaves for mulching my flower beds since I would have to buy bark mulch and the leaves are free. That bark mulch looks terrific. I think the hay will keep your nitrogen draw minimal. If the fungus is white and smells earthy it's OK and harmless. If you start getting a slime in your mulch pile, back off on the water and fluff it up for extra oxygen content and the problem will go away. I probably wrote too much, but mulch is one of my favortie topics. :-) Can you tell?
    David/ Tropical Texana/ Houston

  11. The story of your chia seeds experiment made me laugh. I was searching the picture before I had read it through. You'll have to repost new pictures now that you have a success story on your hands.

  12. Aerie-el
    thank you.
    Malay Kadazan,
    I was totally amazed at how quickly they came up, as I have not had much success with regular green beans in the past.
    David, yes we are heading into the wet season so hope I can harvest these black beans without them turning to mulch, but I will try some more next dry season for sure. Often it is a case of just continually trying as you don't know what the weather will do at any time. My mulch is looking good after I added water and turned it occasionally.
    They seem to be growing quite nicely - I will definitely post an update soon.

  13. Everything looks so healthy and cared for that I can't imagine why they wouldn't grow and so there you have your beans...happy cooking!

  14. I love the stories of using your imagination. People get too stuck on rules and books. Giving it a go is often the best way to get some great results. I remember the taste of pawpaw straight from the tree when I was in Darwin for 6 months.... back in 1989!!! Time I went somewhere where I can pick ripe pawpaws again.

  15. Well done. I'm afraid I'm too lazy to grow any beans that I have to soak before cooking. So I admire you! I have wondered about chia pity yours didn't work. Worth trying again I think.

  16. Ronell,
    I cant believe how quickly they have grown and hope they dry out so that I can harvest them before the wet season starts.
    Fresh pawpaw is great, mind you with this cold winter we have not had pawpaws for a while - they seem to sit green on the tree to ages before they ripen. I love experimenting...
    Oh I don't think you are lazy at all - you do such a good job feeding those monkeys healthy food. My chia did come in the end - I have been adding some of the leaves to I will have to see if I can harvest the seeds.


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