No Image

Plant Profile: Roselle

2012/06/21 deej 0

Roselle, better known in Australia as Rosella (like the parrot, but less feathery) is an annual (or sometimes biennual), fast growing shrub in the hibiscus family. Like most hibiscus and mallows, it has edible leaves and flower petals, but Roselle is most famous for its edible calyx.  The calyx, stems and leaves are acid and closely resemble the cranberry (Vaccinium spp.) in flavor. The calyx is used to make jams and sauces, and dried for tea. The tender young leaves may be cooked and eaten as a substitute for spinach, though somewhat spicier in flavour. Young roselle shoots, leaves and […]

No Image

Badger Badger Badger Badger…

2012/06/18 kai 2

…Mushroom Mushroom! D and I have been experimenting with  exciting things that can be grown in an apartment setting. This months experiment has been Oyster mushrooms. We got a starter kit from a nice gentleman at the Manning Road farmers market. We brought them home and lovingly spritzed them with water and kept them humid and moist and indeed there has been success. As you can see above they grew quite prodigiously and provided us with enough for a large oyster omelet and quite a few left over. At his recommendation we kept the base after picking and kept it […]

No Image

Permie Porn!

2012/06/18 kai 0

It’s finally the rainy season here in Perth! We’ve been waiting for this for a while now and the first serious rains started up about a month ago. I meant to post this earlier but life has conspired to keep me busy. We were eagerly waiting the first big rains as it would be the first big test of the swales we spent so much time working on over the last few months. Our first visit up after the major storm was actually for our house warming night up on the land with the bonfire (We made up for the […]

No Image

Pink Siris, Sleeping Tree, Persian Silk Tree

2012/05/29 deej 1

Albizia julibrissin, known variously as the pink siris, the Persian silk tree, the sleeping tree, or (incorrectly) as a mimosa, is a common ornamental garden and street tree. It has a graceful, elegant shape reminiscent of a jacaranda or acacia, with smooth light brown or grey bark and feathery, bright green leaves. The tree grows up to 12m tall, with an open, umbrella shaped canopy, providing dappled shade and allowing enough light through for other plants to grow underneath the tree. At night, and during periods of rain, the leaves close up as if the tree is sleeping, leading to […]

No Image

Our First Winter

2012/05/23 deej 0

Winter is here, and the rains have started. Or at least – we had two weeks of rainy weather, and now we have Melbourne winter weather. Cold and dry. It’s lovely for going out in, but my poor baby trees need the wet. K commented the other day that being a permahippy has the unexpected consequence of making you respond to a rainy day with excitement and happiness. So much precious water, so many things that can grow as a result. The current objective is to extend the tree cover as much as we can before next summer, to provide […]