Vertical Farming
             

By Redlands Organic
Growers Inc

 

 

   

Not everyone has lots of space to grow their own food and today there are many alternative techniques and products to ensure you make the most of the space you have.

Where space is limited one of the best ways to grow your own food whilst enjoying your balcony, courtyard or small allotment is to go up...or vertical!

Vertical gardening is not new; it seems this happens naturally anyway. Take for instance an advantageous fern finding a cool moist niche in a wall or a fig tree seedling growing up out of a gap between two bricks where some dirt has settled.

The wonderful thing about the new technologies of vertical farming is the incorporation of food production into the urban landscape. There are lots of benefits to this when we design with food in mind.

 
From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty Four
 
 
Climbing spices like Pepper (Piper nigrum) should be considered in tropical climates. Image Paul Plant.
 
Vine covered arbour. Image David Sandison.
 
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Cassava Manihot esculenta
             

Arno King

 

 

   

Cassava, also known as Manihot, Tapioca or Yuca, is one of the most widely grown and eaten crops in the world and is easy to grow in warm climate areas. While you may not be familiar with the plant or root, you most likely have already eaten it often, as it is a widely used additive in processed foods and medicines. It is also the third largest source of carbohydrates in the world and in the tropics and subtropics is the major source of dietary energy. In relation to carbohydrate production, it is only rivalled by sugar cane. With the concern regarding peak oil production, many countries, such as China are now growing and processing this plant as a major source of biofuel.

Topics covered are:

  • Cultivation
  • Cultivars
  • In the kitchen

Varieties examined:

  • Manihot esculenta 'Variegata'
  • Manihot esculenta 'Hawaiian Butterfly'
  • Manihot esculenta 'Purple Leaf'
 
From a 4 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty Four
 
 
Manihot esculenta 'Variegata'.
 
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Capsicums
             

Claire Bickle

 

 

   

Grown and used in the Americas for 1000s of years the Capsicum, Bell Pepper, or Sweet Pepper, as it is called depending on where you live, has become one the world's most versatile culinary ingredients. Capsicums are a wonder food crop; they can be used raw, cooked, roasted, pickled; and they can be dried and ground to produce that famously popular spice, paprika. The common hot Chilli Pepper (Capsicum frutescens) is a close relative of the common Capsicum (Capsicum annuum). There are many species within the genus Capsicum with many being used for culinary purposes.

Topics covered are:

  • Culture
  • Cultivars
  • Success
  • Pest and Disorders
 
From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty Four
 
 
Capsicums
 
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Know and grow Tamarillos
             

Barbara Beerling

 
   

The Tamarillo or Tree Tomato (Solanum betaceum syn. Cyphomandra betacea) belongs to the Solanaceae family which includes among others the capsicum, tomato, potato and tobacco. It is native to the warm temperate highlands of Argentina and Bolivia, but is now grown in many warm temperate and subtropical areas of the world. New Zealand, Israel and Southern California are some of the few places where it is grown commercially for the fruit. In colder regions of Australia plants can be successfully grown in pots or the ground, provided they are protected from frosts.

Erect, branching, and soft wooded, this small evergreen tree reaches three metres in height which makes it ideally suited to the home garden. The leaves are large and softly hairy and exude an unpleasant scent when crushed or bruised. The size and shape of a hen's egg, the long stalked, hanging red, orange or yellow elongated fruit, are borne either singly or in small clusters of up to four. The yellow fruit has the sweeter flavour.

Topics include:

  • Cultivation & Propagation
  • Pruning
  • Pests and Diseases
  • Fruit Use
 
From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty Four
 
 
Tamarillos
 
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Low Chill Stonefruit
             

Paul Plant

 

SPECIAL ONLINE CONTENT

The below item complements this article read in the current issue:

Information on more cultivar options:

Stonefruit Supplement

 

   

Stonefruit are generally considered to be those fruit that have a single hard inner seed, such as peaches (Prunus persica), nectarines (P. persica), plums (P. salicina) and apricots (P. armeniaca).

While the trees that produce these fruit are generally regarded as coming from cool climates, there is a range of low chill cultivars of many of these fruits specifically selected for the subtropical regions of Queensland, northern New South Wales and parts of Western Australia. High chill varieties are grown in temperate regions.

These trees are not the easiest of fruiting plants to grow in warm climates due to their need for winter chill and fruit attack by pests such as fruit flies. That said there are many people who grow them in the subtropics and enjoy the fruits of their labour.

Paul touches briefly on:

  • Culture
  • Pruning
  • Thinning
  • Pests
  • Pollination
  • Chilling
  • Cultivars
 
From a 3 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty Four
 
 
'Sunset Red Leaf Dwarf Peach'. Image ANFIC.
 
Nectarine fruit. Image Noel Burdette.
 
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Lemon Aspen (Acronychia acidula). Image: Graeme White
             

By the Queensland Bushfood Association
Images
Graeme White
Recipe (& image Peter Wolfe

 

Download the Bushfood Recipe as found on p.61 of STG Issue 24.

Bushfood 24

   

There are a few native fruits that are quite pleasant when picked and eaten straight off the tree. There are many however, with their high acidity and intense flavour that require some preparation and a little imagination before you can enjoy them to their full potential. If you did not know what a lemon was and you bit into one, you would be extremely hesitant to try it a second time. That acidity and strong flavour is exactly what makes the humble lemon so adaptable to a wide variety of culinary applications.

So too with indigenous fruits like the Davidson's Plum and the Lemon Aspen. Some thought is needed before their unique tastes can be fully appreciated. Like a lot of native bushfoods, the common names are misleading, the Lemon Aspen is not an aspen and the 'lemon' is only one of a number of subtle and complex compounds that together create this unique taste that is difficult to define.

 
From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty Four
 
 
Acronychia wilcoxiana fruit. Image: Graeme White
 
Acronychia wilcoxiana display. Image: Graeme White
 
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