Monday, 27 July 2015

Banana Bonanza
The past two days have provided us a bonanza of beautiful bananas. Yesterday we harvested a plentiful crop of Aussie Lady Finger Bananas which grow very well in the Sydney region. Today we harvested our first crop from a gift plant: we suspect our 'gift' banana to be Chek Namva from Cambodia. In Thailand this banana is called Khluai Namwa and in Malaysia it is known as Pisang Awak.

Pisang Awak

In terms of management the Chek Namva is an easier proposition. The tree is shorter and its stem is not nearly as heavy as the Lady Finger banana. In fact as we age we are finding the Lady Finger difficult to harvest due to its height. For this reason, it is our intention to remove the Lady Finger, replacing it with a smaller banana variety. This is a shame because the Lady Finger produces high quality fruit.

I will place a blog-post in the near future about the cultivation techniques which we have been using for our cool-climate bananas.

Lady Finger Banana

Monday, 13 July 2015

Mid-Winter Snow Peas
So, winter has arrived. Traditionally, it is the quiet time for most gardens in Sydney. Luckily we have continued to enjoy some fresh produce throughout what has become a rather cold winter, with regular pickings of choy sum, kai laan, and most recently, of snow peas and sugar snap peas.

The peas have grown sturdily and cropped well this season. In preparing for their planting, it is important to fertilise and mulch well, using some lime as a dressing in acid soils. They will sprout quickly if planted in the declining warmth of autumn - I like to plant in late March or early April - but will require some support as they can grow tall in good conditions. It is also possible to plant a second crop as the weather starts to warm in early spring. However, with the onset of hot weather, the yield will decline and the bushes will wither.

We use our snap peas and snow peas, whole in stir-fried dishes or green curries, or sliced for colour in fried rice. They are a valued and tasty addition to the winter vegetable menu, but make sure you pick them before they become too old and tough.
A healthy crop of sugar snap and snow peas.

Beautiful flowers of choy sum. Allow your best plant to self-seed
White flowers of kai laan.