Real World Gardener Creating Edible Gardens part 1 in Design Elements

May 21st, 2020

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Edible Garden series part 1

During the last month or more, seeds, and seedlings have been flying off the shelves.

Seed companies and nurseries, normally would expect that at the start of spring, but in these current times, people are turning to good old fashioned growing your own veggies.

That’s a good thing, but what should beginner and advanced gardeners really need to know to be successful.

Over the coming weeks, Glenice will be bringing to you a comprehensive guide to growing your own edible garden. Whether you have a large vegetable garden, a group of planters on a verandah or a few spaces within existing garden beds, you can at least grow some of your own food.

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Lynn Woods garden Ulverstone Tasmania.

So how do you start? 

Glenice says "Pick the spot that provides the most ideal conditions."

I'm talking with Glenice Buck, landscape designer and consulting arborist.

So if you haven’t started a veggie garden yet think on this.

According to “sustainability Victoria” they reckon that if you grow your own food you

  • save money and supplement your household food supply
  • save water – home grown food uses less water relative to the amount of food harvested
  • reduce your shopping miles
  • reduce packaging
  • reduce food waste
  • enjoy fresher, more nutritious and more delicious food
  • know exactly what you're eating (e.g. no pesticides)
  • get some exercise and reduce your stress levels.

 Top Tips

Finding the right spot for your edible plants can sometimes be a bit of trial and error, however in general most vegetables will require about six hours of good direct sunlight for them to crop well. There are a few exceptions to this rule but in general six hours is the key. You can modify nearly everything else in gardening but you can’t modify or increase the amount of sunshine an area will receive unless you get into grow lights etc which is a whole other topic.

Ideally if you are going to grow vegetables in the ground, in pots or planters, you will need to also have a fairly flat area with no great slopes. If you are going to construct your own above ground beds, you will have a little bit more flexibility as you can build the beds to adapt to a slope. The other issue to think about is that you will be spending a fair amount of time in this space, so you need to ask yourself:

Things to consider:

  •  Is it easy to bend over the beds and weed?
  • Is the ground surface cover easy to walk and stand on?
  • Can you access the areas easily with a wheel barrow?
  • You also need to ask yourself:
  • Can you get water in the area?
  • Is there a tap close by?
  • Do I need to get a longer hose?
  • Do I need another water tank?

If you have any questions of course, why not email realworldgardener@gmail.com or glenice@glenicebuckdesigns.com.au

or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

 

Real World Gardener Unusual Trees in the Good Earth

March 3rd, 2020

THE GOOD EARTH

Unusual Trees for Your Garden
Do you have fruit or nut trees growing in your garden? 
Picking fresh fruits from your own tree, is a different experience altogether to buying the same produce from a shop.

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Moringa oleifera with seed pods

However, not everyone has the space for an orchard, and growing fruits in a small space may seem like a daunting task. 
With the right selection of fruits for small spaces, though, you can enjoy picking fruits off the tree in your own backyard. 

I'm talking with Margaret Mossakowska director of www.mosshouse.com.au 

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Jabuticaba

Margaret mentioned Moringa olifeira or drumstick tree, horseradish tree or just miracle tree, is best in subtropical  dry, hot areas. Think arid regions, and you have the right environment. All parts of the tree are edible not just for us but as fodder for animals as well.
Jabuticaba or Brazilian grape tree is in the Myrtaceae family, along qith the allspice tree (Pimenta doica) and eucalypts.

The way the fruits grow is known as "cauliflory," in other words they grow up the trunk and branches of the tree.
 If you can grow Jacaranda you grow this tree. 
Acer saccharum or sugar maple for cooler districts. 
If you want to know more or if you have any questions about these unusual trees, why not email realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

Real World Gardener Allspice vs Cloves on Spice It Up

December 22nd, 2019

SPICE IT UP

Allspice vs Cloves

How well do you know your spices?

Would you think for instance, that allspice and mixed spice are the same?

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Pimenta doica_allspice tree with berries.

Would cloves be a good substitute to save you running to the store, if you ran out?

Let’s find out.  I'm talking with Ian Hemphill from www.herbies.com.au 

Even the Spaniards were confused with the allspice berry when they invaded Jamaica, thinking it was a type of pepper.  Probably why the allspice tree is Pimento doica.

 

  • The allspice berries  are picked when they're green and put out to dry in the sun.

 

 

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Allspice and cloves

The heat of the sun activates the enzyme which turns the berries dark brown.

At night, the berries are heaped into a pile and covered with a tarpaulin.

The next day they are spread out in the sun again. 

This process is repeated over three to four days, by the end of which time, a volatile oil develops called eugenol.

It turns out that allspice and basil, also have a lot in common, because both contain the essential oil eugenol. 

That means both are perfect partners in tomato dishes.

  • But it also turns out you can use allspice instead of mixedspice but at 1/3 of the quantity because it’s much stronger. 
  • The clove tree is Syzygium aromaticum. The unopened flower bud is the clove.

If you have any questions, please write in to

Realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

Real World Gardener Dandelions in Grow Your Gealth

December 12th, 2019

GROW YOUR HEALTH

Dandelion: Taraxacum officinale

I’ve talked about weeds on this program, not just controlling weeds but eating weeds.

It’s not something that I’ve got my head around yet, but one weed that is being showcased today has been used in herbal medicine and nutrtition for quite a while.

Apparently it’s good for your liver.

dandelions-.jpg

 

Let’s find out what it is.

I'm talking with Simone Jeffries, naturopath, nutritionist and wellness coach of www.simonejeffriesnaturopath.com.au

 

The leaf has a serrated edge forming a basal rosette, with a strong taproot.

Dandelion flowers have only ray florets, and no disc florets, therefore no centre.

Milky sap comes from the stem.

It’s good though that dandelion coffee or tea has the same health benefits. 

  • Simone recommends eating the leaf because they are bitter. 
  • Bitterness is good for us, because it stimulates the appetite.

Dandelion leaves are best when young because they become more bitter with age.

Add to a salad, incorporate into a pesto or mix it in with a juice.

The dandelion root is beneficial also, being made into tea or dandelion coffee.

Contains high amounts of iron and calcium.

You can slow bake the root until its brittle, then you can grind it up to make your own tea or coffee.

  • As always, make sure you can identify the weed correctly before consuming it.
  • Also don’t collect the weeds on roadsides or nature strips, because you don’t know what animal has left its message on them or if they have been sprayed with herbicide. 

If you have any questions for me or for Simone please contact us or write in.

 

Real World Gardener Cassia vs Cinnamon part 2 in Spice It Up

December 6th, 2019

SPICE IT UP

Cassia vs Cinnamon part 2

Last week in part 1 of this segment about cinnamon and cassia, Ian the herb and spice expert talked mainly about where and how, each of these spices are produced.

  • One thing to note: in America, Cassia Cinnamon is just called cinnamon and Sri Lankan cinnamon is called Mexican cinnamon.  

Keep this in mind when reading recipes on the internet or in American cookbooks.

Also, how to tell them apart just by looking at the cinnamon sticks, or feeling and tasting the power.

This time, we’re delving a bit deeper and giving out some recipe ideas also.

I'm talking with was Ian Hemphill from www.herbies.com.au

Let’s find out.

 

PLAY: Cinnamon and Cassia part 2_ 27th November 2019

There were some tricks of the spice trade to trap unwary customers.

Cassia is from a different tree mianly grown in China, Japan and Vietnam. 

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Cassia on the left: Cinnamon on the  right

All of the bark is taken from the tree to make cassia quills. These look deceptively like the more expensive cinnamon quills but here's the difference.

  • Cinnamon quills have many concentric layers
  • Cassia quills only have one concentric layer.

If you want to make Chai tea, think twice before using cassia cinnamon.

This type of cinnamon is too strong, but the true cinnamon, or what I regard as true cinnamon from Sri Lanka, is milder and sweet.

  • Think cheap spice, is it really worth it?

Remember unless that cinnamon powder that you bought feels smooth with any any grittiness, it’s probably been adulterated with cinnamon outer bark. 

Mulled wine jelly

 

INGREDIENTS

 

Rind of 1 orange

Rind of 1 lemon

2 cinnamon quills

6 cloves

1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped

100ml vodka

10 gold-strength gelatine leaves

200ml port

2 cups (500ml) red wine

2/3 cup (150g) caster sugar

300ml thickened cream

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

 

Herbies Mulled Wine spices can be susbtituted for the cinnamon, cloves and vanilla bean.

METHOD

 

Place rinds, cinnamon quills, cloves, vanilla pod and seeds and vodka in a bowl.

Stand, covered at room temperature for 4 hours or overnight to infuse.

Once citrus mix is ready, soak gelatine in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, transfer citrus mixture to a pan.

Add the port, wine and sugar, then place over low heat and cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves (don't let it boil).

Squeeze gelatine to remove any excess water, then add the leaves to the pan and stir to dissolve.

Cool slightly.

Strain the mulled wine into a jug, then pour into a 1-litre jelly mould.

Cover and chill overnight until set.

When ready to serve, whip cream then fold in ground cinnamon.

Unmould the jelly, then serve with cinnamon cream

If you have any questions for me or for Ian, why not write in to Realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

 

Real World Gardener Cinnamon Vs Cassia part 1 in Spice It Up

November 29th, 2019

SPICE IT UP

  • Cinnamon and Cassia part 1

Most if not all, cooks or chefs would’ve used cinnamon in their cooking at some time or other.

However, most likely the powdered form was used mainly.

What about the cinnamon sticks? 

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Cinnamomum zeylanicum

 

Is that where the powdered from comes from? 

 

If it's the bark of a tree, how does cinnamon get harvested?

Who rolls those sticks, is it by machine or by hand?

Let’s find out.

I'm talking with Ian Hemphill from www.herbies.com.au

  • There are two types of cinnamon, Sri  Lankan cinnamon or Cinnamomum zeylanicum, (pictured) and Cinnamomum cassia or just 'cassia."
  • They come from different trees and are grown in different countries.Cassia cinnamon is grown in China,  Japan and Vietnam.
  • Can you imagine all those cinnamon sticks that are from Sri Lanka, are all hand rolled by ‘cinnamon rollers.’

You will know be able to tell the difference between cinnamon and cassia.

  • The cinnamon scrolls have more rolls than cassia, and the cassia powder has quite a strong almost bitey flavour compared to the sweeter milder flavor or real cinnamon, if you test the powder on your tongue. 

  If you have any questions for me or for Ian, why not write in to Realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville 1675

Real World Gardener Keeping Bees part 2

November 16th, 2019

KEEPING BEES Part 2

Last week part 1 of this two-part series about bee-keeping went to air, so I’ll revise a little of that in the interview.

If you are considering keeping bees, don’t just get a bee hive and hope for the best.

Don’t be like some people that have put Flow Hives in the backyard and not put any bees in and wondered why they don't get any honey.

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Would you be game enough to collect a wild swarm of bees?

 

Or others that have put just one queen bee in a Flow Hive [without a colony]."

Be informed and do the right thing.

Let’s find out about things you need to know about keeping bees in part 2 of this 2 part segment.

I'm talking with John Scot from www.eezybeez.com.au

Tip: using a smoker calms the bees quite a bit because it gives the bees a cue that something is going to happen.

You will also need to replace you queen bee after 3-4 years because she will have become less productive and your beehive colony will go into decline in as little as 6 - 8 months.

That is because the queen bee is unable to lay sufficient worker bee eggs.

Buying a queen bee can be done online and the best time to buy in Australia is from October until the end of autumn.

For a current list of queen bee producers refer to the Australasian Beekeeper (www.theabk.com.au), or the Australian Honey Bee News.

 

beehive-Ulrike%2BLeone%2Bfrom%2Bpixabay.

photo Ulrike Leone from Pixabay

Just remember, one of the most important things you need to do if you want to keep bees is to register with your state’s DPI.

If there's an outbreak of disease in the bee population that could threaten Australia's crops and environment, the department needs to keep beekeepers informed.

Registration allows the DPI to identify owners of beehives and know where the hives are located and communicate with them if there's ever an outbreak of disease outside of Australia,

If you have any questions for me or for John, why not write in to Realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

 

Real World Gardener Growing Plant Fibres in The Good Earth

October 31st, 2019

THE GOOD EARTH

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Luffa or loofah grows on a vine

Growing Plant Fibres

  • Did you know that there are lots of plants that may be used to produce plant fibre and many fibre plants are grown as field crops to make paper, cloth, and rope? 
  • But how easy is it to grow plant fibres? 
  • In this segment, you will find out that it's not only easy to grow these plants, but the fibre they produces is a sustainable source of products that you can use around the home.
 

Let’s find out what this is all about all about. 

I'm talking with Margaret Mossakowska from www.mosshouse.com.au

These fibre plants are useful and easy to grow.

If you want a more sustainable bathroom sponge that you use, it can be grown in your garden.

Use the luffa for washing your dishes too.

After the luffa is finished with, throw it in the compost bin where it will break down; after all it's a plant fibre.

Growing luffa is dead easy, easy as long as you don’t confuse if for a cucumber or zucchini vine.

Don’t be like me, make sure you label the spot where you put those seeds in the veggie bed.

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Cotton plant

Then there’s the cotton bush which has pretty hibiscus type flowers.

Easy to grow and easy to harvest the cotton.

You just need to remove the large black seeds before you using it.

If you have any questions for me or for Margaret, why not write in to Realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

Real World Gardener Henley Green Community Garden Update

September 22nd, 2019

Henley  Green Community Garden Update

There are many reasons to join a community garden: learn a new skill, teach your kids where food comes from, save money, help the environment, have a reason to get outside regularly and share with others.

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Chickens at Henley Green Community garden

These reasons — and many more keep the people who grow food at a community garden.

Let’s catch up with what’s happening in the local community garden at Henley.

I'm speaking with Nicole Miranda from the Happy Hens Community garden in Henley.

If you are interested in joining the community garden at Henley you need to first register your interest by filling in a form from their website www.happyhens.org.au

If you have any questions for me or for Nicole, please write in to realworldgardener@gmail.com

Real World Gardener Salt in Spice it Up

September 22nd, 2019

SPICE IT UP

Sea%2Bsalt.jpgSalt

Is salt a spice a seasoning or something else?

Is there more than one type of salt?

Why should we use it rather than leave it out?

Did you know that culinary salts come in two basic categories - sea salt and mined salt?

All this and more about salt. I'm talking with Ian Hemphill from www.herbies.com.au

Let’s find out

Salt is actually a mineral, not a spice which means it doesn’t lose its flavour over time like spices and herbs do.

Salt is used as a seasoning, and is just NaCl or sodium chloride.

Most dishes that would be spiced will contain salt.

There are many types of salts on the market but they fall into two categories.

1) salts with impurities, that give a different flavour.

2) salts with different textures.

An example the first is Murray River pink salt. The colour is pink because of the minerals that the aquifer has flown through.

Rock salt is mined salt.

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Murray River Pink Salt

  • Indian Black salt is also mined salt. Initially  the big chunks that are mined are deep purple to almost black in colour. However, when it is crushed, it becomes a pale pink in colour. Exudes a pungent odour.
  • this salt is a key ingredient in  'chat masala' which also contains cumin, coriander seed and asefetida. 
  • if requestingd the salted version of the drink lassi , it will contain chat masala.

All salt originates in sea water, but sea salt is evaporated from liquid ocean water, while mined salt is taken from ancient deposits left by long-dry seas.

Ian's Secret Tip: salt is cheap and heavy and added to some spice blends to make them cheaper so watch out and just buy the best.

If you have any questions either for me or for Ian, you can email us Realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

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