Too Much Too Easy

Too Much Too Easy

Went to Eat Street Northshore today and had a pleasant time wandering around the food vendors on the banks of the Brisbane River near the cruise terminal.

While there I tried a few of the different dishes from the Japanese pizza, to the salt and pepper calamari and washed it down with a fruit juice. There were plenty of samples to try, chocolate covered deep fried balls, organic fruit juice and nuts in all sorts of disguises. My lady and I shared each plate and it didn’t take long to spend fifty bucks.

Observing People

I don’t really enjoy mixing in crowds but it is fun to get out of my comfort zone and watch others, their reactions and what they enjoy.

Too Much Too Easy

No wonder there is an obsession with food at the moment. At this moment in time the majority of society has too much spare time and no purpose for using that time. What better way than to go and buy some food in different locations. We have lost our connection with the origin of food and we are more likely to buy a meal than we are to want to grow it.

When we grow the food, we don’t have the time to sit around and eat so much of it. We would be more likely not to be as overweight as Queenslanders are if we spent more time actually growing food instead of watching it on TV, while munching a bag of chips and having a soft drink.

Eat Street Review

My lady and I were of the same opinion. We’d go there once.

From Finance to Farmer

It didn’t take me long to switch back to gardening did it. This video was quite interesting and it is enlightening reading the comments. It would appear that whatever you do these days you will have people who think you are doing something of worth and others thinking you are priveleged or that what you are doing is of no value.

I think you have to do what you think is right and grow a pretty thick skin and not worry about what others think of your efforts.

Keep on growing – mindfully, spiritually and in your outlook.


Cover Crops

Cover Crops

Cover crops are one of the easiest ways to build up your soil, protect it from the sub-tropical winter dry weather and early Spring heat. They also attract worms and soil microbes and they can be chopped in to add organic matter as well as having a root system that as it dies and decays creates a porous soil. As the root system decays it is consumed by the microbes leaving highways for nutrients, moisture and oxygen to penetrate the soil.

 Easy Cover Crops

You would be excused for thinking that growing cover crops in the home garden is too complicated to bother with. Plus it is another expense. When you look up cover crops at seed suppliers they have all these different seeds mixed together and there are cover crops for winter and summer.

Prices for the seeds to cover 10 to 30 square metres average around $12. In the long run that is not a large expense because of the benefits cover crops give you. Not only do they add structure to the soil, but they also attract nitrogen fixing bacteria that take up residence in their roots. Here’s a post about the symbiotic relationship between legume roots and soil bacteria.


Mung Beans an Alternative Cover Crop

The easiest cover crop I have ever grown is Mung Beans. Nearly all beans are legumes and they attract certain microbes to their roots because they exude a substance that the microbes can’t resist. This exudate is food for the microbes and they multiply exponentially and in turn convert nitrogen into food that the plant grows fat on.

You will quite often see your beans take off when the tipping point is reached. This is where the microbe population has built up enough so that there is food in abundance for the bean plants to feed on and if your beans were racehorses, you would say they’ve grown an extra leg.


Where Do You Get It?

So where do you get these amazing Mung Bean seeds. Why at the Asian grocery of course. If you have ever eaten Chinese sweets with a green paste in it, you have been eating green been or Mung Bean. When it comes to eating anything that moves, swims or grows the Chineses are masters of preparing it into an edible delight. Anyone that can make jellyfish a gourmet dish has to know what they are doing.

Cheap as Chips.

Not only will Mung Beans improve your soil and make the following crop grow like you’ve never seen before, they are as cheap as chips. A one kilo bag, like the one pictured above is $4.50 and if you are don’t put them on as thickly as I have in the top photo you will easily get forty to fifty sqmtrs of coverage.

Sprout Like Crazy.

Just add water and these beans sprout in about two days and are up like the ones in the top picture in a couple more days.



Usually, when you buy legumes from a seed supplier, they supply an innoculant to go with the seeds. This is actually a small amount of the rhizobia bacteria pertinent to the type of bean. You make a paste of it and mix the beans in it before planting so that the bacteria is in the soil when the beans start producing food for them.

Don’t worry about not having the innoculant. In most cases in Australia it is already there in the soil. Maybe not in a great quantity and it will take some time to multiply to help you beans grow, but that is not really important. You are growing your crop as a ground cover not for the greatest quantity of beans. You will still get beans, but you may also be growing something else while the cover crop is growing.

Grow Something With the Beans.

There are two reasons for growing the Mung Beans. The first is as a cover crop and the second is as a companion plant to the ginger and turmeric that is planted underneath and waiting for the soil to warm up to send up shoots. I don’t worry that the Mung Beans will be disturbed by the rhizomes below.

What I am looking for is the Mung Beans to attract the bacteria that will create a nitrogen in a plant available form. And as the rhizomes crowd out the Mung Beans they will die and the foliage and root system will decay into the soil. What a bonus. And all this for just a couple of dollars. You can’t buy fertilizers for two dollars that will do all that.

That’s a Wrap

I could go on for a lot longer about the benefits of cover crops but the thing to take from this is they work, and it is easy. And they are cheap. If you get sick of Mung Beans, try Soy Beans or Adzuki Beans.

thanks for reading      cheers  Olman

Seeds Or Seedlings

Seeds Or Seedlings

Is it better to use seeds or seedlings? If you haven’t planned in advance the decision is easy to make, get some seedlings. But if you have planned your calendar for raising seedlings and planting out, there are still times when it is better and more cost effective to purchase a punnet of seedlings than a packet of seeds.

Onion Seeds or Seedlings?

When it comes to finicky seeds like onions it is worth considering buying a punnet for about three dollars. In the punnet I just purchased there were about twenty five seedlings in each of the six compartments. So approximately one hundred and fifty seedlings.

Compare that with buying a packet of seeds, which will cost you about the same and you will probably get about five hundred to a thousand seeds.  No comparison at first glance.

But you are not going to plant a thousand seeds and you will need to keep the seeds until next season and if you can find them you will have seeds that will have a lower germination rate than last year.

Not to mention how awkward it is to plant small seeds at the right depth. And if you mix them with sand so they spread better you will still have to thin them out and in places plant some more seeds or transplant the thinnings.

A much easier way to plant these type of seeds is to buy a punnet and separate them for transplanting.

Separate The Seedlings

It is quite easy to separate the seedlings. Just squeeze the base of a section of the punnet and then pull out all of the seedlings together.

Soak the mass of seedlings in some water and then tease them apart gently.

Some parts of the roots may come off, but this won’t hurt them as long as they still have some roots. They will recover when replanted.


Planting the Seedlings

Planting out is simple. Just push a stick into the soil and make a fairly big opening. If the soil falls in on itself, wet it down thoroughly before starting. Make about a dozen holes at a time and drop your seedlings in.

When you are trying to guide the roots into the hole widening the top of the hole will help. If you have to, just guide the roots down with your finger.

Use the hose to water in each seedling. The sides of the hole will collapse in securing your seedling and making sure that soil is in contact with the roots and there are no air pockets. It will also help push the roots down the hole.

All Finished

So that didn’t take long. About two hours from go to whoa and that included bed preparation and watering it thoroughly before making the holes.

I guess another alternative is seed tape. Which is probably a discussion for another time after I have had a go at making my own seed tape for carrots. I have never had real succes with carrots. I have got some in at the moment that were planted from seed but they are a bit patchy.

Feel free to add a comment or share a novel idea.

All the best    Olman