Friday, April 30, 2010

Onions: Bulbous Goodness

The in-laws live about 4min (by car [45min by foot]) down the road and run a 50 acre commercial farm and had a bumper crop of onions this season. Unfortunately there was a glut in the market and it was not viable to even harvest the crop.

So...a pair of shears and a few boxes later we had oodles of onions and 3 dirt covered and very happy boys who enjoyed running across a 10 acre field as much as cutting the onions. Onions are a pretty well known food source and have been cultivated for over 5000 years (yep they found traces in Bronze Age settlements!). Onions have great health benefits as well and are effective against a plethora of conditions ranging from the common cold to heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and other killers and debilitators.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Wildlife: Giant Grasshopper

The boys found this big lad last week and hand great fun watching how high and how far he was able to jump.

Giant Grasshoppers are the largest grasshoppers in Australia and also commonly known as Giant Valanga and Hedge Grasshoppers. They are native to Australia and adults can range from 60-90mm. This big fella was actually 92mm so a giant amongst giants. They are common in Brisbane and their body colour and patterns can apparently vary a great deal. Usually the adults are greyish green and brown in colour with black dots pattern on their front wings but their colours generally resemble the plant stem where they usually hide.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mulberry Trees: Fast Growers

Our Mulberry trees are coming along very nicely. They apparently do grow very fast when juveniles and slow down as they age stopping at about 10-15m. As you can see from the photos ours are already 8m after less than two years. They are already fruiting as well much to the boys' delight.

We have Asian Mulberries and their fruit is sweet and a deep purple. Mulberry leaves are ecologically important as the sole food source of the silkworm as well!
"Worldwide, mulberry is grown for its fruit. In traditional and folk medicine, the fruit is believed to have medicinal properties and is used for making jam, wine, and other food products. As the genera Morus has been domesticated over thousands of years and constantly been subjected to heterosis breeding (mainly for improving leaf yield), it is possible to hybridize breeds suitable for berry production." - Wiki

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pumpkins: Clean up reveals haul

We have gotten into the vege patch to clean out the overwhelming pumpkin vines that had moved from the main large square patch over pretty much the entire rest of the garden. We had spotted a couple of pumpkins in there prior to the cleanup but three trailer loads of vines later the true haul was revealed.

We've never had any trouble growing pumpkins around here so while it was not at all surprising it was a welcome harvest. Those with good eyes will spot a couple of watermelons in there as well that were hiding down the far corner. The sweet potatoes you can see were from the same patch as that monster one a month ago.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Macadamia Tree: Two years

Our Macadamia tree keeps on keeping on. It never seems to have a bad month and has grown about a foot over the last 12 months.