Easter and the end of daylight savings heralds the end of the good part of the year for me as the dreaded winter approaches and most of the fruit is done for the season. However, there is still the delight of persimmons, ripening beautifully to be ready in the next few weeks and the best crop so far. Some people may feel that in growing an edible garden one is sacrificing a little aesthetic pleasure but some fruiting trees are really stunning. If you want a very special tree to hold pride of place in your garden, consider a persimmon which has beautiful autumn foliage and delicious fruit that ripens in May when everything else is finished. They are a bit slow to get going but once established, pretty free of pests and diseases –this one is about 9 years old and has the spreading habit that usually grow in. There are two types of persimmons; astringent and non-astringent- this one is a Fuyu, the most popular of the non-astringent types. You can pick the fruit straight off the tree and eat it like an apple although it tastes rather more like an apricot slightly. It looks just like a tomato which is one reason I did not try one until quite recently as I dislike tomatoes and could not get over the visual effect that is was a tomato! The astringent fruit are mouth puckering and inedible when picked but from all accounts absolutely heavenly and sweet about three weeks later when they have been left to rot! I personally don’t fancy rotting fruit so I cannot give a guarantee on this! They also dry very well for a yummy snack through the winter. You will probably pay a bit more that you would for a peach tree for example but you will have a spectacular tree loaded with fruit each year. In about a month the leaves will be gone and the fruit hangs there on the bare branches like golden balls. Will post another photo when this happens.
Next Saturday 12 April the twice yearly ABC Gardeners’ Market will be held in the ABC car park at Collinswood from 8am to 1pm. This is a pleasant Saturday morning where you can score some bargain plants from the many stalls there. Joe and Rosanne will be there as usual at Stall 30 just inside the western gate. This year Joe has made a list of what we are bringing so if you want to reserve something please send us a message. If you want something not on the list also message us as we might have it here and can bring it for you. It’s a good chance for those of you south of the city to say hello and check out our small nursery. There won’t be any strawberries at this market as they all sold out at the Open Garden; however, they will be available in a couple of months’ time so please place an order to make sure you don’t miss out. All plants very reasonably priced, mostly around $10 or less. We have lots of plants available as you can see from the attached photo but are limited for space at this market.
Here’s a link with details about the market http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2013/01/25/3676484.htm?site=adelaide?site=adelaide§ion=competitions
|Plum pine medium pot||5|
|Native Ginger medium pot||1|
|Feverfew medium pot||1|
|Jacaranda medium pot||3|
|Agave attenuata small pot|
|Cotelydon orbiculata small pot|
|Orange Trumpet Vine||3|
|Palm trees various large pot||3|
|Figs medium pot||Qty|
|St John Tropical||1|
|Figs large pot||Qty|
|Temperate fruit med pot||Qty|
|Temperate fruit large pot||Qty|
|Silvanberry small pot||8|
|Silvanberry medium pot||1|
|Galangal medium pot||5|
|Pepino small pot||20|
|Pepino large pot||2|
|Indian Guava small pot||9|
|Red cherry guava small pot||6|
|White Sapote small pot||1|
I am going to share a little secret with you! These little golden balls, around the size of a very large cherry, are one of the most delicious fruits you will ever eat. Pity they are so hard to find!
They are yellow strawberry guavas,Psidium cattleianum var. littorale. This is our first crop that wasn’t sunburnt or eaten by birds and, while still modest, there have been enough for a decent taste this time. They are related to the more common red strawberry guava but very much sweeter and nicer in my opinion. Like most guavas, not hard to grow in our climate and you can grow true to type from the little seeds you see in the picture although the seeds are soft and can be eaten. We have a number of different guavas here from the relatively common fejoia (pineapple guava) to Indian, Hawaiian, Mexican cream etc. This is definitely one of the best but it ripens quickly and you need to pounce on it at just the right time.
I also appreciate its appearance at this time when the summer cornucopia is ending –stone fruits done, figs and grapes on the wane now, persimmons a few weeks to go – as we like to have something fruiting all the time but there are a couple of “dead spots”. As we move into April and the dreaded winter hovers nearer with the end of daylight saving and the last of the really hot weather (although summer made a welcome return this week with 37 degrees here on Tuesday)it’s nice to be able to pick something so super yummy from the gardens. One of the very few things I like about winter is peas so they will be going in this week with a good 3 to 4 month wait until harvesting.
500 LIKES! Another milestone reached overnight with 500 likes! When we started the Facebook Page just after the 2013 Open Garden we never expected to reach anything like this total with not only local people from Adelaide but some followers from interstate and overseas – we must be doing something right! It’s never been just about growing food, although that in itself is a very worthy aim, but about the personal and community benefits that such an enterprise brings in its wake. Gardening is enormously therapeutic for all ages; being out in the fresh air and sunshine and getting exercise is a universal prescription for good health. I saw Peter Cundall recently on the 25th Anniversary Gardening Australia program and at 87 he says he is in perfect health and fitness, no doubt due to a lifetime of tilling the soil and eating his own organic produce. As our gardens have morphed into more of a community garden the fun and the friendships formed are a precious and unexpected by-product. When Joe was in Hobart recently at the conference there was a lot of interest shown in this model as it bypasses some of the difficulties of a conventional community garden. This is a powerful grass roots movement all over the world as a conscious response to the troubled times we live in.
We’d like to mark the occasion by gifting a tree from our nursery to our 500th “liker”. We have a huge range of figs and other fruit trees along with some natives to choose from. Thank you all for your support and your comments on the Page which add greatly to the interest. We recently started this blog for people not on Facebook to follow, courtesy of the very generous Vanessa Henley, although my continued ill health means that it has been slow progress thus far and at this stage it is similar to the Facebook page for those who don’t like using Facebook. The hope is to post lots of articles and info in a more permanent fashion than the Facebook format allows.