Turning the corner...in production mode

'Tis a niggling habit plants have of not doing what you expect them to. You plant with a template in mind -- a projection on how the garden will grow....
Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row.
..and the  all hell breaks loose! Maybe in temperate climates...maybe in the cooler months here... there's predictability -- but this time of year it's every seed for itself. 

"But it's the seasons!" I hear someone shout. Sure. Seasonal is what it is -- but what seasons?

My inclination is to presume that I have two gardens. A hot and humid one...and a cool and dry habitat. Between the two are x number of months of transition. 

So my ruling is that I have two seasons -- each conducive to a different horticulture -- with linking bits.

I'm not such a grand master of my patch that I can confidently matchmake seed with season any and every time. My head is still caught up in my long ago existence in the temperate zones and I still think like ye olde English cottager. 

It's a green thumb's dead hand....

But really my  greenery kith and kin live elsewhere, leastways this time of year. I've moved north just as in a few months I'll move south again. 

Of course this is precisely what is happening curtesy of the sun and the axis of the earth. For one part of the year I get to play giardiniere and for another I'm in the tropics, caught in a sort of Monsoon mode.

Two modes. Two different kitchen gardens.  Each requiring a different headspace.

Under monocultural precepts this ebb and flow  is simply dealt with through engineering and an annual harvest. But the more polycultural your mix the more complex the practice required.

For a town not noted historically for its kitchen gardens -- what constitutes the Brisbane garden mix? A choko  vine and a mango tree?

I'm not saying I can rule on this but I'm thinking it is still an open agenda. We may be constrained by culinary habits and expectations  but the disconcerting fact is that we are so located by dint of latitude, that -- either in season A or B -- we could grow almost anything, any annual.

In this I'm much  taken with Jerry Coleby-Williams habit to divide his garden according to production.
  • Edible roots
  • Edible leaves
  • Edible seed
  • Edible petals
  • Fruit
  • Medicinal/spices  
His  In Production lists are always awesome.I think it's a great way top keep ontop of your gardening ways and means because it does keenly measure how productive your patch is at any one time.

Jerry Coleby-Williams lists his produce monthly. Here's his list for last January...so I took his and made up my own. In way of inspiration, the items in  green are what I'd like to grow now (if only I'd thought ahead)

Underlined are what I've been harvesting this month.

Edible roots
Arrowroot, Canna edulis
Jerusalem artichoke, Helianthus tuberosus 
Potato (sprouting again despite harvest)
Radish, Raphanus sativus ‘French Breakfast’
Sweet potato
Turnip, Brassica rapa ‘Gold Ball’
Yam, Winged, Dioscorea alata
Yam, African (Discorea)

Edible leaves
Aibika, Abelmoschus manihot
Aztec Spinach (Huauzontle)
Basil,Thai and Large leaf
Chinese celery, aka smallage, Apium graveolens
Chives, Allium schoenoprasum
Dill, Anethum graveolens
Egyptian Spinach,Corchorus olitorius
Endive, Cichorium endiva ‘Green Bowl’
Florence fennel
Garlic chives, Allium tuberosum
Japanese parsley, Cryptotaenia japonica
Kangkong, Ipomoea aquatica
Lemongrass, Cymbopogon citratus
Mint (common garden)
Moringa oleifera
Nasturtium, Tropaeolum majus
Parsley, Petroselenium crispum ‘Italian flat-leaved’
Purslane, Wild, Portulaca oleracea
Purslane, Golden, Portulaca oleracea var. sativa
Radicchio, Cichorium intybus
Rocket, Wall or wild, Eruca sativa
Sweet potato
Vietnamese mint, Persicaria odorata
Welsh onion, aka spring onion
Warrigal greens, Tetragonia tetragonioides

Edible petals
Rocket, Wall or wild, Eruca sativa

Edible pods
Madagascar  Bean
Snake  bean (Red Dragon)
Winged bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus),

Cucumber (Russian, Lebanese...)
Dragon fruit
Globe Eggplant
Lemon,  ‘Meyer’
Lime, West Indian
Mouse melon, Melothria scabra
Tomato, cherry

Medicinal / Spices
Aloe Vera
Ginger, Zingiber officinalis  
Turmeric, Curcuma longa


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