Passionfruit and silver beet harvest

When I arrived at the Food Garden of the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens yesterday, Tony was hard at work stripping the darkened passionfruit from a wall of vines for a terrific passionfruit harvest. During the morning, eggplants, green runner bean and tomatoes were added to the boxes being prepared to donate to the charity Second Bite.

A number of garden beds have flourishing silver beet plants.  The outer leaves of each plant were systematically and carefully cut, allowing the inner leaves to continue to grow. Boxes and boxes later, a wonderful store of silver beet leaves was ready to accompany the remainder of the harvest.  I can only imagine how relieved and pleased people will be when this healthy produce is distributed.

We are working through mid-autumn and, with variable cooling weather, many plants are clearly slowing down into a state of dormancy.  Thankfully this includes some weeds – although like all plants, weeds have their season and a few are now showing their green leaves happily.  Pam, Trixie and Lesley worked patiently to clear the micro level weeds around leafy plants.

Sarah cleared old pumpkin vines and dug a little and, with her and everyone else’s efforts, many garden beds were looking very neat by the end of the day. Deb raked leaves.

Neil weeded and raked. 

I put my hand up to pick the soy beans, remove the old plants, rip down the adjacent green runner bean vines and leave the plot vacant and ready for a future crop. 

In other words it was productive day making sure the Food Garden looked good – and when the garden looks good we know the plants are getting the best chances.

As I left for the day, I checked the early stages of brussel sprout growth, and then marvelled at the brilliance of the autumn toned Persimmon tree leaves.   I was amused to see a staff member in the distance mowing a leaf-strewn lawn and every few moments emptying the catcher into a rubbish bin.  I thought a truck would be a better idea considering the volume of fallen leaves.

Now is a colourful time to visit these Gardens, and to enjoy the serenity and the space.

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