Home' Smart Farmer : May 2014 Contents Smart weeds
with ZANNIE FLANAGAN
Mad March and now Mad May!
ON April 4, the second Adelaide Food
and Wine Festival kicked off with a nod
to our history.
The Baudin and Flinders Breakfast in
the morning was followed by a food
truck gathering at Light Square as part
of the Festival Fork in the Road event
later in the day.
Though only the second festival of
its kind, it is quickly making a name for
itself with some creative and original
ideas incorporating the new generation
of SA's food makers.
Festival creator and director Amanda
James-Pritchard and her team have
worked tirelessly to pull off one of the
most successful food events in Adelaide
in recent times.
There is no doubt that the success
of the event is in part because of the
youthful energy and passion of its crea-
tive team, many of whom represent the
new face of the food and wine scene in
By engaging with producers, chefs and
quirky and unusual venues in the city
and the regions, the festival has been
a true celebration of the state's talent,
creativity, hospitality and produce. It
seemed foodies everywhere wanted a
piece of the fun.
The only thing that surprised me
was the timing. Scheduled to start just
before the revamped biennial Tasting
Australia event that has been running
for more than 10 years, the public could
be forgiven for confusing the two.
Traditionally, Tasting Australia has
focused on running a giant PR exercise
for the state by bringing in international
journalists and food media celebs who
were entertained at taxpayers' expense
and then went back home to write
about their South Australian experi-
ences. Running alongside were numer-
ous events the public could attend and
By and large it worked well, but after
the last event, the state government
decided it was time for a revamp and a
new direction, and Ian Parmenter and
his event management company lost the
contract to stage the event.
In its place, new Tasting Australia
creative directors Simon Bryant and
Paul Henry, together with event patron
Maggie Beer, have put together an
event that also puts SA produce and
producers at the forefront.
The event will run from May 27, right
on the heels of Adelaide Food and Wine
Festival, and the program presents a
range of events not dissimilar to those
curated for the festival except that at
first glance they seem to be more expen-
sive, and a little bit more corporate.
Perhaps that is one of the compro-
mises when an event is owned and
managed by a government agency.
I am sure there will be great support
for our first home-grown Tasting
Australia but it will be hard not to com-
pare the two events. In my mind, I can-
not help thinking of the Adelaide Food
and Wine Festival as a bit like the Fringe,
with Tasting Australia representing the
main event. Except that in this case, the
events will no doubt provide some real
competition and motivation to excel and
innovate, which in the long run can only
be a good thing for our state.
All I ask is a few weeks off between
gigs or my waistline is going to need
some serious work!
Is your land
IS your land being choked by
Wild artichoke (Cynara cardun-
culus) is one of the most common
weeds found in SA.
The native of the Mediterranean
was introduced as a pasture plant or
leaf vegetable soon after settlement,
with the first reports of it in SA in
It is a close cousin of the more
edible globe artichoke although the
latter does not have the spiny 'bracts'
of the wild variety.
A problem weed
Wild artichoke is a problem weed
north and south of Adelaide, par-
ticularly in the western Mount Lofty
Ranges, although its spread extends
north to the Spencer Gulf region.
Individual plants live for many
years and are frequently a problem
On steep banks and rugged terrain,
wild artichoke is hard to control.
In lower rainfall areas it can
be found in damp places such as
roadsides, drains and creek banks.
Seeds can germinate at any time
of the year but do so mostly after
autumn rains. Then, seedlings
develop slowly through winter
before growing rapidly in spring,
and developing a deep taproot.
Wild artichoke rarely flowers in
the first year of growth but if allowed
to survive it will flower from the
The plant forms rosette leaves that
usually die through summer. They
are replaced by new leaves in the
second autumn that develop into a
Stems emerge from the crown by
about October and as they develop,
the lower leaves die off. New leaves
emerge from the crown after autumn
rains, and the cycle is repeated.
Wild artichoke spreads almost
entirely by seed. Pieces of cut root
are also capable of producing new
plants but this is important only
where infested areas are cultivated.
The seed is equipped with a pap-
pus of feathery hairs but is not
ideally suited for wind dispersal
because of its large size and weight.
Many seeds become detached
from the pappus before leaving the
head, and those that do not, tend
to blow less than 20 metres. Seed
can also be spread by sheep, cattle,
water, mud, birds and mice.
A dominant weed
Once established, wild artichoke
can dominate other vegetation
including native and pasture species.
Large plants with dense foliage
will shade most pasture grasses as
well as draw moisture and nutrients
from the soil. This can result in dead
patches of ground when the weed
dies back in cooler months. Over
time, any areas of bare ground can
increase in size, ultimately resulting
in degraded pastures and bushland.
An important control measure for
wild artichoke is to limit the weed's
opportunity to establish itself in
the first place. As with most weeds,
this means avoiding creating patches
of bare ground either through
overgrazing or disturbing the
soil. Maintaining good machinery
hygiene is also important and this
means avoiding bringing machinery
onto a property that contains arti-
Once established, control options
include grubbing but much of the
taproot must be removed or new
growth will develop from the cut.
Spraying with herbicide is prob-
ably the most common treatment
but follow-up treatments must be
applied persistently until the arti-
choke infestation is eradicated.
Natural Resources Adelaide and
Mount Lofty Ranges will hold a free
wild artichoke field day on Saturday,
May 24, at Uleybury near Gawler.
• Need to know more?
Tracey Hardwicke, 08 8523 7700.
Natural Resources Centre at Gawler, 8
Adelaide Rd, 08 8523 7700; Lobethal, 1
Adelaide Lobethal Rd, 08 8389 5900; or
Willunga, 5 Aldinga Rd, 08 8550 3400.
Wild artichoke stems emerge from the
crown by about October.
Links Archive April 2014 June 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page