Love Is A Loaded Passion Fruit Vine

Love Is A Loaded Passion Fruit Vine

Love Is A Loaded Passion Fruit Vine

I love my loaded Passion fruit vine during February. Passion fruit thrive in the subtropics and almost anywhere that is not frost affected. Our vine, is 4 years old now and produces the purple fruit, Passiflora edulis. It was planted to grow on the boundary fence, but amazingly it has grown over the safety net around the trampoline. The effect is magnificent, and is a very good use of the vertical space created by the net. The result is a bouncy, leafy bower, complete with dangling sweet treats.

Packed with Vitamin C and iron, the delicious healthy balance between acidity and sweetness lends itself to complement many deserts and ice creams, though most of ours are eaten straight off the vine. I will give away and process much of the fruit in the coming weeks as the crop quickly ripens. It is wonderful to pull out frozen Passion fruit pulp mid-winter for a treat.

Fun fact – a Passion fruit is actually a berry, and within each berry is typically 250 seeds.

Endless Passion fruit is sweet compensation for the lack of leafy greens from the garden at the height of summer, but for now the laden Passion fruit vine is ripening at the rate of 2 or 3 Passion fruit per day – one for me, one for you and one for the freezer, perfect!

Rain refreshed, it’s time to plant

REFRESHED AFTER THE RAIN make the most of a rain event which naturally refreshes the soil to plant the garden after the summer heat. The recent rains that accompanied the Super Blue Moon broke the spell of the dry summer and made it possible to grow greens again. Now is the time to plant silverbeet and lettuce.

I want to eat super tasty, fresh plucked organic greens from the garden each day.

Our backyard is set to be rejigged soon, and the raised garden bed will be moved, so for now the growing area will be on the ground along the south fence, a very sunny position.

PREPARE THE GARDEN, I have shovelled some of the soil from the raised veggie garden onto the ground to make a new garden, added compost and watered all. This garden includes container planting – 5 black recycled tubs – and not a lot of planning, it will be interesting to see where the veggies flourish.

PLANT SILVERBEET. For a spend of $35 on seedlings (silverbeet is currently $4 per bunch at the shops), and a bale of organic sugar cane mulch, I now have a potential crop of 10 silverbeet plants, 8 Cos Lettuce, 4 Rocket plants and one Tommy Tomato, oh and not to forget the several clumps of Chives. More garden space is available for a succession crop.

With regular water – it will be essential to water twice a day for a week until the seedlings establish, and in a couple of weeks we will be eating from the garden again.

So, just like that, after the full moon rain, the veggie garden is growing again. Silverbeet and lettuces will be ready to eat soon!

Rain refreshed, it’s time to plant!

Leafy Greens, Yes Please!

For a busy family, growing food in the backyard seems so simple and essential when the crops are blooming. From March to November last year, the garden produced so much silverbeet, lettuce, cabbage and parsley, as well as several crops of butter beans and green beans – enough to fulfil most of our ‘greens’ needs.

Post Christmas holidays the garden is run down, the only edible greens are a couple of clumps of parsley. It is tough to keep the plants alive through the heat of summer. Now the first rains of February have broken the spell, it’s time to plant, grow and eat greens from the backyard again… and never buy anymore silverbeet!

Hardy clump of Flat-leaf Parsley

Flat-leaf Parsley, a great low maintenance summer staple 

Check out my lil’ garden!

8 weeks later – almost ready to munch on!

TaDa! Instant garden! Well, it has taken 8 weeks for plants to grow from seed to this:

  • Butter beans and rattlesnake beans are flowering.
  •  Bok Choy is beginning to flower, not so great as this indicates that it may just bolt to seed, rather than getting lush, green and leafy – Note – better to plant the bok choy in autumn next year, as it is growing too fast now!
  • Garlic tops are looking fabulous, though it is hard to tell what is happening below the ground.
  • Silverbeet plants are growing well, as are the snow peas.
  • Several tomato plants are thriving, though it is interesting to note that the plants that were planted into a hole lined with home-made compost are bigger than the others.
  • Carrot seeds were sown directly into the garden 2 weeks ago and are popping up.
  • The mandarin tree, which had a heavy prune in August is shooting new greenery and has many flowers beginning to set. I have been feeding it up with compost and worm wee at this time to give the tree enough energy to produce fruit – I think the fruit will take at least 6 months to produce. I am very excited, as I have not had a mature, fruit bearing citrus to care for – though have planted many citrus trees that others are now hopefully enjoying.
  • Kafir lime, which was a housewarming gift is also going very well, and leaves are regularly and creatively featuring in the cooking.
  • Parsley that was also a beautiful gift,  along with a basil plant and coriander is thriving now it is planted in a garden bed. The original basil has been replaced with several new plants grown from seed, and I have just killed my second coriander – oops. Jobs – Scatter coriander seeds all around the garden to improve chances of survival – we eat lots of it!!


Already planning my first meal from the garden – a silverbeet and bean salad with basil- which will be only a couple of weeks away. Yippeee!

Planting!

Sprouted and ready to go!

After attending the Harvest Share, I figure that I should just get the garden planted and the weather is spring-like.

Still worried about the possums and the harlequin beetles and other unknown pests – I will deal with them if they become an issue!

I now have tumeric roots and ginger along with basil seedlings, procured at the Harvest Share, to add to the garden.

My garden planning is slowly shifting from a Melbourne climate zone perspective to the Brisbane zone – it certainly helps to see what other gardeners are growing!

Local Harvest Share

Home made produce to take to the Harvest Share, including some yummy strawberry jam

The Wynnum Manly Community Garden had the first Harvest Share today.

The Community garden itself is such a great example of what is achievable by a local community. The produce brought for sharing from local people’s garden was truly wonderful.

Produce taken home from the Harvest Share – thank you everybody!

In addition to the photo, this is a list of what I took home: duck eggs, chook eggs, passionfruit, lemons, limes, oranges, bell pepper, tumeric root, ginger root, oregano cuttings, bay leaves, celery, lemon grass, small (hot) chillies, kafir lime leaves, macadamia nuts, tomato relish, white chocolate biscuits and basil seedlings.

Everybody was so generous with their produce, and it has certainly provided insight into what is possible to grow in the back yard.

Very inspiring!