Many of us locally are growing vegetables, herbs, fruit trees, vines, and nut trees around our homes. We enjoy our gardens, and being able to nip outside and get a handful of fresh produce to add to our meal, or nibble on fresh fruit picked straight from the vine or bush. It's really healthy too!
Permablitzes are a way of getting together to work on each other's gardens, learning together, getting a new Permaculture garden set up, or doing some needed maintenance on an established one.
If you'd like to be part of a local Permablitz, get onto the Food Forum on this website and ask others to join you.
Log on to Transition The Grove to find other people growing food in home gardens, and to join discussion forums on your pet garden topic.
Vegetable and herb seedlings are sold each weekend at Ferny Grove Markets, some grown locally by a supplier from Keperra.
Growing your own food takes skill, and we have some local experts in Permaculture and Organic Gardening. Grovely TAFE, Ferny Grove State High School (Agriculture Department), Brisbane Organic Growers Inc, the QLD Herb Society, Sub-Tropical Fruit Growers, and Permaculture courses are all great places to start.
The local shale-soil has to be built up a lot before it can start producing reliably, so locals who grow their own food also need to build up soil nutrients and make compost. Manure from local horses and cows and chooks is always in demand. Worm farms are popular. Raised beds help too.
It takes time and persistence to learn food-growing skills and to build up your soil and collection of plants. The best time to start is now, with what you've got and where you are. Enjoy every step of learning and your skills and enjoyment will grow with your plants
Water for the garden is also a concern when SE QLD is in a drought phase and during the dry season.
Did you learn about growing vegetables at Ferny Grove SHS or Grovely TAFE? Log on to Transition The Grove and network to share and retain the skills you learned.
Locals grow a wide range of produce in their gardens, although the sub-tropical climate with its summer rainfall is not ideal for the crops which flourish in a Mediterranean climate or which require cold winters.
Paw paws, sweet potatoes, mulberries, coffee, tomatoes, beans, grapes, cumquats, bananas, limes, cucumbers, pumpkins, strawberries, passionfruit, silverbeet, arrowroot, cassava, onions, figs, ginger, and turmeric all do very well in our gardens.
Some local greengrocers may negotiate with you for some of your excess produce if it fills a niche they need.
Some fruit trees are offered for sale at the Ferny Grove Markets on Sunday mornings. Another great source is at the Brisbane Organic Growers annual fair each October at Peace Hall in Albion when specialist fruit and nut tree suppliers come along with their produce. The Sub-Tropical Fruit Club (meets monthly at Peace Hall at Albion) is also a great place to start building up a collection of fruit trees. You can learn to propagate at Grovely TAFE and share cuttings and young trees you've grown.
As we develop skills in growing and propagating, we swap and give each other from our excess.