Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Medlar workshop

Last Sunday, 6 June, Melanie (and Alexander) ran a wonderful medlar workshop for our network in Bullaburra. The demonstration centred on medlar preservation for the pantry and medlar preparation for the table: medlar jelly, medlar cheese, medlar paste, medlar and apple chutney, medlar tart, and medlar comfit.

Medlars have been described as a cross between a pear and a quince. Lizzie is right in saying they have a texture and even taste like dates, though they are nicely tart in comparison to dried ones.

They have a thin skin, like but even thinner than the skin of a kiwifruit. Similarly, you can scoop out the medlar's flesh to eat raw, but the seeds are large.

Like pears, medlars need to be ripened off the tree. The ripening process of medlars is commonly referred to as 'bletting'. One workshop participant reported making jam and stewed from medlars picked straight from the tree, i.e. in their hard and tart state, and the product was successful.

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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)