Friday, February 25, 2011

Other projects like our own...

If you didn't hear it on the ABC Radio National's Bush Telegraph or Country Breakfast this week, go to — to find the audio to listen to and the transcript to read. And for more on the Growing Abundance project, see — — it's so like our own Blue Mountains Fruit and Nut Tree Network!

Friday, February 18, 2011


With fruit picked at the Mount Tomah Cheriras Orchard (see photos in posts below) I've made marmalade and chutney this week. Given many of you might well have, or have access to, lots of little apples this time of year — too many to eat — I'll share my method for making chutney. You can add chopped up onions, or other delicacies at hand, as you wish, e.g. substitute some apples with windfall pears.

Into a very large saucepan (e.g. the bottom part of a pressure cooker) place 5 cups of apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of allspice, 2 tablespoons of salt and 1 kg raw sugar. Stir well and then occasionally, as you bring it to the boil, making sure the sugar dissolves. Meanwhile wash 2 kg apples, peel where necessary, roughly chop and add all to the simmering liquid mixture.

Bring back to the boil and, after a few minutes, add 350 gm sultanas, 250 gm of finely sliced preserved ginger. You need to stir it well for the next 15–25 mins as you keep it at the boil to thicken. Make sure your jars are sterilised and pour into 8–10 medium sized 'jam' jars.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bilpin Garden Club

Last Saturday Rob and Lucy, from the Cheriras Community Orchard in Mt Tomah, and I spoke about our network to the Bilpin Garden Club in the Bilpin Hall. Before we went, we picked blueberries with some other families. I took these photos of the figs and prima apples in the orchard. We expect the figs to be ready in March sometime.


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)