from Linda Brennan at Ecobotanica
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Summer crops from the garden
March 2022
It's all Systems GO for Autumn Gardens
In this issue:
. Awesome New classes up now
. Planting now

. Delicious Banana Stem Soup Recipe
. FreeTalks

. Sprout Magazine - Home made jams & atchar

 Above is the lovely Blue Butterfly Pea vine Clitoria ternatea with its edible flowers. And this gorgeous picture is of a decorative amaranth. Easy to grow from seed in the warmer months and may be sown now. 
I can say quite happily now, that the garden is recovering from the deluge! 

Did you see the pictures of our watery wonderland on Ecobotanica Facebook and Instagram? It was like a pond from the vegie garden back.

But the drainage is happening and the resowing of the vegie patch is already working, with sprouting vegies coming up already.

Life in the garden is always a surprise isn’t it? As a gardener you will be well attuned to the seasons and in particular, the recent impacts the immense rains have had upon our gardens. How did your garden fare?

For weeks I was walking around the garden barefoot. It was useless wearing shoes - the water came up over the shoes and sometimes they were sucked off when I got stuck in the mud.
The vegie patch was a mess, with pooling water over about 2/3rds of it. But quite amazingly, some plants not only survived, but thrived.
Any of those subtropical plants like kankong, lemon grass, purple leaf sweet potato, and taro didn’t mind being under water for a time.  The winged beans (pictured), Surinam spinach, cassava, lemon grass and eggplants really loved the hot humid days but they were not flooded.

And while we lost the melon crop almost at their peak, the pumpkins have grown over the tunnel and have pumpkins hanging mid air.

 I’m making a diary of the successes for hot and wet summers so I have a resource to call upon in future when we have similar forecasts.

Spaces Available for Class this Sunday
The next class coming up on Sunday 27 March 2-4.30pm , is the Edible Flowers Garden Tour, Growing Class & Afternoon Tea.
You’ll enjoy all things edible and floral this Sunday. It’ll be delicious, starting with Elderberry and rose petal spritz. You’ll also receive a copy of my book and take home some flower seeds that you will have saved and sown. It’s all good garden fun. Click below to book a spot or two!  $85
Find out more & book a spot
More Classes at Ecobotanica Capalaba
Sunday 27 2-4.45 March Edible Flowers Garden Tour and afternoon tea in the garden (Vacancies exist) 
Saturday 7 May 1-4pm Mother’s Day Garden tour and afternoon tea  (vacancies exist)

Sunday 12 June 1-4.30pm Super Soils, Composting and worm farm success, How to really upgrade your soil for excellent vegies, fruit and edibles. And how to create superior compost using organic and biodynamic methods. and we will trouble shoot how to succeed with worm farms – the ultimate compact scrap recycling method. $85

Sunday 22 May 10-4.30   A Full Pantry At this class we will be making and tasting jam, pickles, bottled fruits, and dehydrated items. All of these are using produce from the garden that you can also grow and top up your pantry with too. There’s nothing quite like a pantry with lots to fill the shelves! $125

Saturday 4 June 1-4.30 Herbal Teas and Herb Gardens Come and be immersed in the joys of all things herbie. Brew herbal; teas, make tea bags, sow herbs to take home and of course, a herbaceous afternoon tea to enjoy as well. $85

Saturday 25 June 10-1pm How to espalier fruit trees  The best class ever on espaliering flat and artistically shapely fruit trees for small spaces! Grow kilos of fruit including apples, nectarines and plums in a tiny space. $85
Saturday 23 July 10-2.30 Spring Growing Class and Fireside Picnic  Time to plan your spring garden. Plan, sow, imagine and grow here in the organic garden and follow it up with a picnic fireside . Billy tea, home grown soup, maybe home cooked bread and a winter warming salad. Yummo. A great day to be working on your future garden. $95

Click the button below for more info and to book your spot. 

Find out more & book a class
What to do in your March garden

The Times they are a Changing...
Well it’s autumn and the times they are a changing. Damien and I have been super busy in the garden, coaxing it back from being a muddy mess after the incredible rains. It’s amazing how everything responses so positively to a bit of TLC. Already our efforts are paying off in spades and new plantings are bounding ahead.

There's plenty you can be planting in your garden right now in preparation for the cooler weather. Our propagation bench is full of trays of edibles all starting to germinate. I'll let them get a bit bigger before transplanting into the garden. 
Planting now
In the vegie garden the eggplants are producing more than we can eat. They are such a reliable crop. The bananas are making lots of bunches with the promise of a big banana glut and there are also lots of new banana trees shooting up. See my recipe below for how to cook up the stems for a superb meal.

The beans that survived the flooding rains are producing for us and the Surinam spinach (pictured) and Wing beans are terrific. If you are coming to the Edible Flowers Class and afternoon tea on Sunday you will also have the chance to buy fresh peppercorns from our vine.

You’ve never tasted pepper so good! There are spaces left so please book in if you’d love to come.

Sowing and growing now
I’ve been sowing lots of seeds into trays and punnets while the soil has been draining and being revived.
It’s cooling off now, so think of those early winter vegies that you can sow directly into the ground or into punnets and trays while you prep the beds. I’m putting in Beetroot, lettuce, cauliflower, beans, onions, Snow peas and sugar snaps, zucchini, cabbage and the Asian veg like Tatsoi and Pak choy and Kai lan/Gailan which is like leafy broccolini. I’ve also sown purple topped turnips and carrots.

And, after last year’s success with potatoes, I’ve decided to repeat the sowing. The first 10 metres of spuds have gone in and there are another two rows to follow in a few week’s time. My success last year was due to planting whole potatoes, not just bits. I harvested 18 kilos of good-sized potatoes from about 1.4 kilos of seed potatoes. If you’d like to see how I’ve started them off, take a look at my video REEL on 
Ecobotanica Instagram.
Edible flowers going into the ground or into seed raising trays now include cosmos, cornflowers, dianthus, gladioli and violas. In a little while I’ll have taken a delivery of a batch of new daylilies from 
Mountainview Daylily nursery.  
They’ll go into the front garden to replace the lavenders that perished this summer. I know they’ll provide a wonderful show and will be minimal care with maximum edibility.

 And some free classes…

Toowong Library Sat 26 March 11-12.30 How to Grow Edible Flowers Call the librarians on 34032590 to book your spot.
Garden City Library Saturday 23 April 10-11.30 Foolproof Vegetables Call to book your spot: 34037745
Dalby Library Wednesday 27 April check times with librarians 07 46794000  I’ll be presenting on an up-to-the-minute topic for keen gardeners.
Chinchilla Library Thursday 28 April,  Morning class. Check times with librarians 07 46794000. A great class for organic gardeners
Indooroopilly Library, Saturday 14 May 10.30-12am,  The Busy Person’s Productive garden Book your spot: 34070009
Zillmere Library, Saturday 21 May 1-3 pm How to Grow edible Flowers Book your spot: 34031455
Carindale Library, Monday 27 June 11-12 am , Secret Worm Business School Holiday class for primary aged children Book your spot: 34071490

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Davidson's Plums
Recipe: Banana stem soup

The recipe this month is for Banana Stem soup. It often raises eyebrows when I mention it, but believe me, this is a great soup and is an even better way to use the new banana babies rather than tossing them into the compost when you have too many.
I first enjoyed a banana stem soup when visiting The Green School in Bali, and have been making a version of it ever since. Click here for the recipe. It’s really delicious.

Banana stem Soup recipe
Davidson's Plums
Sprout Magazine - preserving the summer harvest

The autumn issue of Sprout magazine, (I’m the Horticultural Editor) has a story on saving your summer sun aka the harvest from your summer garden.

I’ve interviewed two local people who make pickles, atchars, (chutneys) jams and cordials from the excess fruits and vegies, herbs and spices that they grow in their gardens. I’ve tasted the results of their efforts too and they are delicious.

You will be able to see regular updates from the magazine on the
Sprout Magazine Instagram page and their Sprout Magazine Australia facebook page.
Buy your own Delicious Bunch. Click below
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