The beginning of June marks the beginning of winter. It is said that this winter in Adelaide will possibly be the coldest since the late 1940’s. Which has lead me to the conclusion that I will be eating a lot of hot pumpkin soup in the coming months.
The garden is somewhat slowing down at the moment. Most of our trees bear fruit in summer which is a time of abundance with a dash of gluttony. But not all hope is lost, for now is the reign of the mighty Citrus.
Scattered across the gardens, we have several varieties of oranges, mandarins, lemons (including the always popular lemonade lemon), limes, finger limes, grapefruits & calamondins. Most of which are ripe or ripening right now.
We are very fortunate to have a rather large lemon tree in our yard which provides enough lemons for everyone in the garden & just about everyone we associate with, which is great news for all of u as they fetch between $0.50-$2.00 each if you are buying them from a shop or market.
This year, for the first time ever, we will be harvesting bananas from Joe’s silk banana palm. We have had a relativity wet & humid summer this year which has provided idea conditions for bananas. We must be patient though as they are coming along slowly, but surely.
Another first in Joe’s garden. Avocados, and a whole lot of them! This is technically not the first time this tree has fruited, although the last attempt with a grand total of 2 is hardly anything to be considered when you take into account the huge number of avocados on the tree at the moment. I would say there are 100 at the least. Which means a whole lot of guac!
For my 21st birthday earlier in the year, Joe was kind enough to gift me 2 saffron bulbs (Crocus sativus.) Jesse & I made a brief trip to the blue mountains a couple weeks ago, so the day before we left I decided to plant the saffron, with little hope that it would flower as I was planting it 2 months late. We returned 4 days later to find flowers! 2 of them! 6 whole strands of beautiful saffron, the most expensive spice in the world. The flowers smell of a divine honey & the petals feel like silk & velvet. The sheer luck of catching those wonderous strands can only be understood with that knowledge that each Crocus only sends out 1 flower & has a flowering period of just 24 hours. If we planned to arrive back the next day, or even that night, we would have surely missed them.
A favourite of mine (and many others) is the persimmon. The most stunning fruit tree I have ever laid eyes on. As the fruit starts to turn orange, so do the leaves, before they fall off leaving just this wonderfully unique fruit clutching to the branches. Diospyros kaki is derived from the Greek ‘dios’ meaning ‘God’ and ‘pyros’ meaning ‘grain’ or ‘wheat.’ Obviously the persimmon is not a grain of wheat, so the name roughly translates to ‘food of the gods’, ‘divine fruit’ or in Greek mythology ‘the grain of Zeus.’ I also wonder if ‘pyro’ has anything to do with the flame-orange colour of the fruit when it’s ripe. This variety is the Japanese Fuyu, short for ‘Fuyugaki’ meaning ‘Winter persimmon.’
We have almost stripped the tree bare at this point, but I have dried quite a few for eating over winter.
In the veggie garden, chillies & capsicums are still pushing forward & we are trying our best to keep them warm but further measures will definitely need to be taken soon if they are to survive the winter. Surprisingly, we have quite a lot of tomatoes coming rip at the moment, especially the heirloom pineapple tomato which is a low acidity beefsteak variety. Lots of wombok cabbages & daikon radish for future kimchi production & scoffing. Kidney beans are coming along very nicely despite me having been told that ‘I can’t grow bush beans in autumn.’ I took that as a personal challenge & now myself & the beans are having a good laugh about those who doubted them.
The tamarillo or ‘tree tomato’ still has quite a few fruit left for me to pick, as no one else in the gardens is really a fan of them (no complaints here.) I’m crossing my fingers that they will hang around long enough for the avocados to ripen up nicely so I can have many-a-serving of avocado & tamarillo on toast.
Of course, there are still fungi friends out and about in the gardens. Quite a few Parasola sp. A Fuligo septica slime mold here & there (not fun to step in)some Peziza sp. Also the above little guys pictured hanging out with Joe’s broad beans. Yet to identify these guys as I have a whole mess of fungi from yesterdays forage/foray that I’m still yet to ID. (More on that coming soon.)
The Joe’s connected garden grow free cart is winding down a bit at this time of year, but there is still plenty of citrus for everyone. Whenever we have fruit, we always seem to have an abundance, even after sharing with friends/family there is still plenty left over so on our end it’s fantastic to have somewhere to share our excess so we know it’s not going to waste!
We realise that at this time of year most home gardens are slowing down or awaiting the harvests of veggies planted in autumn. As always – if you don’t have something to add to the cart, please don’t let that discourage you from taking something. This is excess produce, it’s there to be taken & eaten by whoever needs it, no strings attached!
Well, that about does it for today’s ramblings.
I’m off to have a nice hot bowl (or 3) of French pumpkin soup.