Paw Paws & Beetroot Relish

Today, as I wandered through the garden at Sue’s place, it was so much more than just chatting about bolting lettuce and rats nibbling pea pods. As Sue shared some wonderful tips about how to care for paw paws in the dappled sunlight and cool breeze, I noticed a lightness, a joy that warmed my heart. She spoke of burying pieces of loose concrete at the base of the plant so they can slowly feast on the leaching lime and to spray them with a special mix of hers to rid them of that yucky black spot (recipe at the end of this post). However, it was not just the fact she could recall such interesting methods off the top of her head, it was the humility and the love with which it was delivered that made me smile. Later I was treated to this warmth again as we enjoyed some of her sister’s homemade beetroot relish and pita chips while exchanging recipes, giggling about ladies lunches of the past and enjoying this shared love of food, homegrown goodness and connection.

To me, permaculture isn’t just about the technicalities, it isn’t just about the swales and the contours. It is about the integration of gardens, of nature, into our lives and into our homes. It is about the shared knowledge, the light in someone’s eyes when they show you their favourite plant or when you figure out that mugwort and paw paw trees don’t like each other just by observing the garden each day. To me, this is why we are all here and why we are all drawn to spend more time with our hands in the soil … the connection. Here’s to more garden tours, more paw paws and much more delish beetroot relish!

Petrina King

Sue’s Organic Paw Paw Spray to Banish Black Spot

Biota Booster… Peter Taylor in our Permaculture club sells this (also available at Sauers in Cooroy)

Grab a 5lt spray bottle

– Seaweed e.g. Seasol to strengthen cell structure in leaf
– Biota Booster
– Molasses for making mixture stick to leaves and feeding beneficial microbes in the mix
– Water

Mix together in sprayer as per instructions on the bottles.  Do not spray on a windy day or late in the afternoon.  Cut all infected leaves from the trees and bin them, do not compost to avoid spread.

Spray all upper and lower leaves, fruit and the trunk as well.  Spray all around the base of the tree as well to improve microbes in the soil.