Thursday, November 8, 2012

Water vegetables and natives

My water vegetables are starting to make a move now with the warmer weather. I planted out the last of my little lotus seedlings today. A couple were planted into pots, then into tubs as they will be transfered to my friends dam soon when they have a few bigger leaves.

The water chestnuts are finely growing well. I lost a couple for no reason I can think of but I am hoping for good harvests from my 60 litre tubs that they are in. I have 8 tubs of them and will get more if they do well. I will know in winter if they are worth going ahead with.

And here are some of my native water ribbons that are flowering. They produce slightly sweet, crunchy tubers. I only have two tubs of them but I think I will make more. They produce up to 50 walnut sized or bigger tubers each. I will have to think up some recipes and try them out.

I am growing quite a few Australian natives, the ones that look like they could be worth growing as vegetables anyway. I have water ribbons, murnong, native pepper, native raspberries and pale vanilla lily. I don't have many of each of them as I need to judge how they will go in a market garden situation but they are all growing happily at the moment.
I don't hold out much hope for the native raspberries as they don't fruit well and the fruit is a bit insipid - just how 'normal' garden raspberries would have been before people started selecting for bigger and better fruit. I'm not sure they are really worth breeding for better fruit though. Anyway, I have a few in pots for people who want to try them in their gardens, and they are flowering now.

I am impatient to try some of my natives and I think the murnong and vanilla lillies are getting big enough to take a couple of tubers to taste. I must get a few more native peppers. They are a fantastic spice but I have not been able to germinate them from seed. I think I will buy some plants instead but I am having trouble finding a supplier. I only have one plant at the moment and it is a female. They leaves are good to use but I would like to try the berries, but I will have to find a male plant for that.

There are a few other natives that might make vegetables and I will test a few next year.

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