Sunday was another busy day working in the garden in glorious weather. The dragon fruit turned on another spectacular display with 6 blooms. A record 31 members and one child attended. As usual for this time of the year there was an abundance of beans and cucumbers. We also harvested snake beans, okra, basil, Thai basil, Greek basil, rhubarb, papayas, sorrel, tomatoes, French tarragon, rocket, parsley, carrots, Warrigal greens, chillies, tamarillos and purslane.
We saved sunflower seeds, parsley seeds and land cress seeds.
You can’t help but notice climbing beans flourishing in bed 8 and along the fence in the Secret Garden. They are ‘Double bean’ vines (Phaseolus lunagus, Legume Family Fabaceae) also known as tropical lima bean, butter bean or Madagascar bean. They like hot, humid weather and slightly acid soils. Dies back in winter and produces more beans in the second season. Only the seeds are eaten. Unfortunately they are slow to produce and our vines have few pods and they have not yet filled out. See https://permaculturenoosa.com.au/madagascar-bean/
We have Greek basil (Ocimum obovatum, Mint Family Lamiaceae) growing in the garden (photo below). It is a small-leaf dense bush perennial. It can be grown from cuttings. Pick some to add a strong flavour to salads, soups, sandwiches and egg, tomato and cheese dishes.
Our okra (Hibiscus esculentun) are producing seed pods for harvesting. Also known as ‘Gumbo’ or ‘Lady’s Fingers’ they belong to the Mallow Family Malvaceae. Their flower in the photo below is characteristic of the Mallow or Hibiscus family. Use the seed pods in curries or stews or young ones raw in salads. Our rosella (Hibiscus sabdariffa0 plants belong to the same genus and family and will be flowering soon.
There are self-sown curry leaf tree seedlings (Murraya koenigii, Rue Family Rutaceae) at the foot of the tree. Take them if you want, or give them to someone. We have to keep the tree trimmed of flowers because it can self-sow and become a nuisance. Also it might fall over. We have been giving leaves to local restaurants.
There are plenty of lilly pilly (Syzygium smithii, Myrtle family Myrtaceae) fruit on the tree above our meeting site. Pick them if you want to make jelly or jam.
Glen is offering a pottery workshop next month for anyone interested in making sentinels of various designs for the tops of our stakes. Let me know if you are interested.
You may have seen the photo in the Herald last Friday of Bourke Street Community Garden in Woolloomooloo under the headline “Chooks join a growing flock of urban gardeners”. Their membership doubled during the pandemic (not including the chooks). We too had an increase in membership of 23 during 2020.
Also in the news last week was the alarming news that last year tied with 2016 as the hottest year on record for the world.