Thursday, February 18, 2010

C is for calendar

No sooner had we announced a calendar — meeting on the first Saturday morning of every month February to November — than we have found it unworkable. Nature works seasonally and plant (fruit and nut) growth responds to so many factors that our human calendar with its strict and simplistic linear divisions means we could not do activities at the most appropriate time. This month we had a talk and have a working bee for blackberry gathering and eradicating tomorrow. In March we have several activities lined up whereas later in the year we are likely to hibernate with the winter. Watch the top right hand corner of our website for future activities still hatching as I write.

At the moment you will be harvesting apples (as we saw at the community gardens ten days ago), some blackberries have survived the deluges, rhubarb (unless its going to seed, in which case Lizzie reminds you to cut off the stalk asap), and my cumquat tree is so burdened I feel sorry for it (see photo). Many peaches are ready to be picked now too. Beautiful fresh and raw they are wonderful for crumbles, chutneys and rocket salads (with almonds and fennel or spring onion).

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We can harvest a wide range of fruits and nuts locally each season.

Local fruit and/or nut gardeners are invited to make additions or suggest modifications to the following work-in-progress compiled by Lizzie Connor.


Across the mountains: loquat, mulberry, rhubarb, strawberry and (in late spring) raspberry

Best in the lower mountains: avocado, jaboticaba, lemonade


Across the mountains: apricot, blueberry, boysenberry, cherry, currant (red, black, white), gooseberry, kumquat, loganberry, loquat, mulberry,nectarine, peach, plum, raspberry, rhubarb, strawberry and (in late summer) almond, apple, fig, hazelnut, passionfruit, pear (incl. nashi), pomegranate, youngberry

Best in lower mountains:lemon (Eureka), lemonade, lime, mandarin, orange, persimmon (non-astringent) and (in late summer) avocado, babaco, macadamia, rockmelon, wampee, watermelon

Best in upper mountains: jostaberry, lemon (Meyer), persimmon (astringent)


Across the mountains: almond, apple, chestnut, feijoa, fig, grape, hazel, kiwi fruit, kumquat, medlar, olive, passionfruit, pear (incl. nashi), plum, quince, raspberry (some), rhubarb, strawberry, strawberry guava, walnut

Best in lower mountains: avocado, babaco, cherimoya, grapefruit, lemon (Eureka), macademia, monstera deliciosa, orange, pine nut, pistachio, rockmelon, tamarillo, walnut, watermelon, white sapote

Best in upper mountains: lemon (Meyer), mandarin (Satsuma)


Across the mountains: apple, hazelnut, kiwi fruit, kumquat, pear (incl. nashi)

Best in lower mountains: grapefruit, lemon (Eureka), orange, tangelo

Best in upper mountains: avocado (Bacon), lemon (Meyer)