Spaghetti squash

Jess and Jesse have just started a new blog which will concentrate more on vegetables and other things not covered by this blog. This is a great article on growing spaghetti squash: the advice given applies to pretty much all of the cucurbit family, ie pumpkins, melons, cucumbers squash etc.

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Spaghetti squash (Cucurbita pepo) pictured on the trellis to the left, having its space invaded by a bottle gourd. On the right is butternut squash, black futsu pumpkin, rockmelon & glass gem corn.

Hands down, spaghetti squash is the plant we receive the most inquiries about & the most praise for. We are constantly being asked for seedlings & seeds, which is no surprise considering a single spaghetti squash fruit (yes, it’s technically a fruit, not a vegetable) will set you back between $5 – $10. They are also not very widely available in shops, although it seems likely that will change with their rising popularity.
We started growing spaghetti squash because of 2 reasons; 1) I am obsessed with squash. 2) We tried a shop-brought one once. I under cooked it slightly but was hungry (as usual) and ate it anyway, and I couldn’t justify spending another…

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HERBS, NATIVES AND VEGETABLES FOR SALE AT THE OPEN GARDEN

Since Jess and Jesse arrived in the middle of last year the gardens have expanded a lot. This is the first time we have sold seedlings and native plants. Prices vary but usually $2 for seedlings and $3 for native plant tubestock. We are not a commercial nursery so quantities are limited. Come early for the best choice.
HERBS:
AMARANTH
BASIL— GENOVESE
BASIL – PERENNIAL
BASIL— HOLY TULSI
BORAGE
COMFREY
ECHINACEA – ‘WHITE SWAN’
LAVENDER
MARIGOLD -STINKING RODGR
NATIVE MINT
PEPPERMINT

VEG:
BEAN—BLACK TURTLE
BEAN—BLUE LAKE
BEAN—DWARF GREEN BUSH
BEAN—PURPLE KING
BEAN—STRINGLESS PIONEER
CABBAGE – RED ACRE (punnets of 4)
CABBAGE – SUGARLOAF (punnets of 4)
CUCUMBER— CRYSTAL APPLE
KALE—RED RUSSIAN
KOHL RABI—PURPLE VIENNA
MALABAR RED SPINACH
MIZUNA
MUSTARD—GIANT RED
PAK CHOY
PEPINO
ROCKET
ROCKMELON
SQUASH—BUTTERNUT
SQUASH—SWEET DUMPLING
TOMATO— AMISH PASTE
TOMATO— BLACK RUSSIAN
TOMATO—ROMA
TOMATO – TOMMY TOE

This is amaranth

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NATIVES (WILL LIKELY HAVE A FEW MORE AVAILABLE THAT ARE NOT LISTED)

BUSH TUCKER:
ATRIPLEX CINEREA – Grey saltbush
ATRIPLEX SEMIBACCATA – Berry saltbush
BILLARDIERA CYMOSA – Sweet apple berry
CYMBOPOGON AMBIGUUS – Lemon scented grass
ENCHYLAENA TOMENTOSA – Ruby saltbush
EINADIA NUTANS – Climbing saltbush
TECTICORNIA SP. – Samphire/sea asparagus
WAHLENBERGIA STRICTA – Native bluebells

ORNAMENTAL:
BANKSIA MARGINATA – Silver Banksia/honeysuckle
CHRYSOCEPHALUM SP. – Everlasting
CLEMATIS MICROPHYLLA – Old man’s beard
CORREA REFLEXA – Native fushia
DISPHYMA CRASSIFOLIUM – Round noon flower
DODONAEA VISCOSA – Sticky hop bush
EREMOPHILA GLABRA – Emu bush
FICINIA NODOSA – Knobby club rush
GOODENIA ALBIFLORA – White Goodenia
GOODENIA VARIA – Variable Goodenia
HARDENBERGIA VIOLACEA – Native lilac
HAKEA CARINATA – beaked Hakea
LEUCOPHYTA BROWNII – Cushion bush
MAIREANA SEDIFOLIA – Bluebush
OLEARIA SP. – Daisy bush
VITTADINIA SP. – New Holland daisy

BETTER THAN EVER PLANT SALE

 

dscn1946As well as the usual dry/warm climate fruit trees, strawberry plants and new herb and vegetable seeds and seedlings we will also have some in demand unusual trees/bushes. A friend has been caring for some goji berries for us and dropped them off today. Nice looking plants which we will sell for about $5 each, a much better buy than the app $15 you will pay in the shops. Also, the ones in the shops are more than likely wolfberries, a close relative with similar fruit but very sparse. We also have a variety of dragon fruit and other subtropicals. A full list will be published next week.

dscn1446At the RFS meeting on Tuesday Ben Waddelow, a commercial grower in the Riverland, said he would also bring some unusual plants down with him for a separate plant sale. He specialises in jujubes (Sunlands jujubes) and will bring other things that we don’t have including mangoes and persimmons. There is always a lot of interest when we talk about growing mangoes and his are two years old and he has got them through the critical first winters and they are about a metre high. They are sun hardened Riverland Kensington Prides, the very best ones to grow here. I told him I thought they would be very popular so can I have an indication of how many of you would like one so he brings enough down with him?

A PLACE IN THE SHADE

 

dscn25321We are often asked why we open at the hottest time of the year. The simple answer is that a fruiting garden is at its best at this time with the abundance of summer fruits. Joe and I are both summer bunnies and don’t mind at all being out in the sun doing the preparation although I suspect most of our volunteers do not share our enthusiasm!

Don’t be put off coming if it’s a bit on the warm side. One year the Saturday was 45 degrees and still 100 hardy souls ventured forth and had the advantage of less crowds. Everyone commented how cool the gardens seemed, no doubt due to the dense tree plantings and abundance of greenery. We put up marquees and tarps over the clotheslines in addition to the verandas and natural shade. Last year we purchased two sets of misters which were very popular as a cool spot. You should be able to find a nice shady spot like this!

SPECIAL GUESTS

 

dscn1231We are still working on the final program which will be similar to last year’s but hopefully there will be a couple more guest speakers that are still not confirmed. Starting at 10.30am and running all through the day until 4pm there are talks, panel discussions, demonstrations of tree planting in clay soils, tree pruning and laying drip irrigation. Main speaker is at 11am and panel of experts at 2pm. We are again honoured to have Harry Harrison here: Harry is always a huge hit and no one in Adelaide knows more about growing fruit so come along and get all your questions answered. He is very generous with his time and his half hour talk has been known to stretch to two hours while there are people there still asking questions. He often runs pruning workshops that cost you money but here your entrance ticket covers all presentations. The final program will be posted next week as early as possible. Here’s Joe running his tree planting workshop:

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We’ve also been told that Mayor Docherty from Playford council and local State Member of Parliament Lee Odenwalder will also be attending as both are strong supporters of our gardens.

MEN (AND WOMEN) AT WORK

 

dscn2506The gardens you see are definitely NOT the work of just Joe and me and now the other residents. I cannot stress too often how much we rely on our team of helpers. Here’s a couple of Joe’s mates hard at work today trying to finish a pergola which will go from the edge of the veranda to the edge of the pool. This will allow the nets to be pulled right up to the veranda and hopefully expand the space suitable for our growing array of subtropicals. It will hopefully also deter the birds who like to swoop under the veranda and steal the few tasty morsels they find. Joe also likes to have some new things in the gardens for those who like to come every year. This year we have one whole new garden to enjoy as well as a few new structures around the place.

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STALLS

Every year we have a few stalls like the one below. Anything to do with sustainability, the environment, organic gardening, permaculture etc is suitable. 1114 Information booths preferred to selling things. We still have a couple of spots so contact us if you would like to be here on the  day. No cost to you! Around 500 to 1000 visitors expected.