Friday, April 30, 2010

Fruit and nut trees growing at community gardens

Recently we visited the Blue Mountains Organic Community Gardens to collect information about what is growing where. The garden has a wonderful apple arbour. This photo of the apple arbour was taken by Anne Elliot a couple of years ago and the trees are much better established now. Sixty-seven different apple trees, including heritage varieties, have been planted along with six crab apple trees.

There are three cherry trees, five quinces, a Japanese plum — and probably more pomes — as well as a row of raspberries on vines runs south to north.

Eight chestnut trees are planted at the entrance (to the south) of the gardens along with white and black walnuts. Six hazelnut trees have been established in a grove (line) to the north of the gardens.

Its definitely worth a visit. Visitors are welcome. A good time to learn more about the gardens is to turn up at the weekly working be on Friday mornings. (See their website for more details.)

Monday, April 19, 2010

From cherries to figs

I've taken a while to put up this post. Besides other distractions, we took out a couple of days to take down a very old cherry tree (see image) to make way for two fig trees, which we plan to get from figs grown by a network member in Winmallee later in the year. We waited till it was time for the council chipper to come round (next week in South Katoomba) and have chopped the whole tree into tidy sections. The wood is beautiful (as is well known by furniture makers). It was a bit saddening. Cherry and plum trees are also known for their dainty yet strong ornamental appearance. The cockatoos loved the tree and we were happy for them to monopolise the over hard fruit it produced in its senescence. But now we will prepare the ground for the figs. The terraced area is ideal as it is bounded by sleepers. These conditions are good for containing the figs's roots.

The latest (April–May) issue of the glossy magazine Blue Mountainslife has half a page on our network in the Mountain Gardening section (see 'Blue Mountains goes nuts on p. 22).

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Merry month of May

Two activities for Blue Mountains Fruit and Nut Tree Networkers will take place on the first weekend in May in the upper mountains.

On Sunday 2 May there is a free design scoping workshop after a short blackberry pulling out task, 9.30 am to 2 pm (light morning tea provided but bring some lunch to share). The design scoping workshop centres on providing our host with ideas for further developing her fruit and nut trees, among other productive vegetable and herb beds and Indigenous plants in her Blackheath garden. The workshop will allow experienced permaculturists to share their knowledge and provide a learning experience for those wishing to know more about permaculture principles and techniques. Contact Anitra for more details

Also, Wayne Levi and Susan Girard are holding a workshop at the Blue Mountains Organic Community Gardens in North Katoomba on preventing pests and diseases in fruit over winter on 1 May 2010 (10.00am to noon) They will discuss safe organic treatments etc. For more details contact 4782 5810 — $15 donation (hand lens included).


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)