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.

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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)