RTBG 4th November 2021

Pre-Covid Thursday weather has returned!  Glorious blue skies. Warming temperatures.  Clean clear air after a night’s gentle rain.  And so it was in the Food Garden of the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens (RTBG). Sparkling, luscious, fresh and colourful.

When I arrived, clearly Neil had been ‘at work’ since much earlier and had been clearing and preparing beds ready for later planting.  In addition he helped Tony reap a bonanza harvest for delivery to the charity Second Bite.  Janet was busy washing plant loads of mustards ready for distribution.  As Neil pulled more and more from garden beds, Adam joined the washing team.  The job seemed endless and was a reflection of the rapid and dense growth in the past few weeks brought on by good rainfalls and warming temperatures. A truly bountiful harvest.

One patch, that was cleared except for a few beans which struggled through the thicket of mustard plants , appeared as follows before then after.

Last Thursday a team of us picked the tips of camellia sinensis bushes.  In the interim, Coordinator Adam prepared the tea leave tips so that we could try out a brew of fresh green tea, at morning tea time.  It is always exciting to see the end of a process in which we were instrumental in one important stage. Of course, the silver teapot came out for the occasion.

Then it was time for action – with a choice of weeding zones. A team of us tackled the weeds around and under the potato patches – dutch creams and pink eyes;  first with a stirrup hoe and then with the best tool in the world, our searching fingers.

We noted the pink eye potatoes (first photo below) were less bushy than the dutch cream variety (second photo);

Weeding in a new patch began when we spotted sticky weed, dandelions, milk thistles and forget-me-nots trying to hide in the hellebore patch. The call for lunch came and, for the first time in a couple of years, ten of us (in more recent times about 7 or 8 maximum) sat down together across the platforms adjacent to the Food Garden watched attentively by a magpie who wandered amongst us hoping for tidbits – which were not given.

Onto the orchard for more weeding; that is, onto a series of patches that we visit time and again to remove vetch, dandelions, milk thistles, and a few other unwanted plants amidst the spreading aromatic ground covering thyme and denser marjoram.

Meanwhile, planting of chilli plants was underway.

Elsewhere, last week we planted a number of chilli plants. Regrettably wallabies have hopped in and nibbled their tips. Very sad looking plants.  Here’s hoping they don’t find the new plantings.


I noted a garden bed newly sprouting soya bean plants.

And that, as Peter Cundall used to say, was “your bloomin’ lot”. Until next time …

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