Sunday, May 29, 2011


If, like me, you have some olive trees then over the next few months you'll be harvesting them. You might be interested in hearing about the commercial olive harvest this year (in the 27 May ABC Radio National Bush Telegraph program).

The ABC TV1 Gardening Australia site also has a fact sheet on pruning olive trees, which we'll need to be doing later in the year. You can watch an ABC TV1 Gardening Australia program on grafting olive and apple trees too.

There are olive farms in the Megalong Valley (see post below). Poor soils, well-drained soils and cold winters are the olive's natural habitat. But the high humidity characteristic of Blue Mountains' weather is an enemy of olives. In places, such as the upper mountains, where an olive tree might not get full sun and many weeks of it they will not thrive.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bare-rooted raspberry canes and strawberry plants

Cheriras Community Orchard will have bare-rooted raspberry canes and strawberry plants available soon for purchase by locals — you can find advice on planting them at the UK BBC gardening site. The BBC recommends Autumn Bliss, amongst others, and this is a variety Cheriras can supply — generally they produce a strong harvest. Another site worth looking at is UK GardenAction. Our link takes you right to the raspberry page.

If you want advice on tending the strawberry plants try the Vegetable Patch site. Also the ABC's Gardening Australia has three items on growing strawberries: a 2003 fact sheet by Colin Campbell; a 2007 fact sheet by Janea Edmansont; and, an item from a 2007 issue of the Gardening Australia Magazine; And, if you're heavily into strawberries or have had problems growing them, consult the Berries page of the NSW Department of Primary Industries horticulture site.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Preserving workshop

The pic says it all — the fruit preserving workshop on the weekend was a great success and will be an annual (if not even more regular) event.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Feral Fruit Melbourne/Blue Mountains?

Take a look at Feral Fruit Trees Melbourne — why don't we make a map like this for our area?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

May in the Mountains

Remember that on Saturday 14 May 11.30 am Anne Elliott (Slow Food Blue Mountains) will present a workshop on preserving fruit using Fowlers Vacola equipment on Saturday 14 May in Katoomba. Entry is by donation. Bookings are essential.

Kat Szuminska reports that they've just bulk ordered fruit plants for the Blue Mountains Organic Community Gardens, also in Katoomba. See their website for some recent activities involving citrus planting: If you'd like to be involved with planting the new stock, contact Kat directly.

The ABC TV program Gardening Australia, which screens at 6.30 pm every Saturday evening, has announced that next week (Saturday 14 May) they will feature the grafting of fruit trees. This is a subject of great interest in our network and we hope to hold a workshop later in the year on it. Meanwhile watch the program — see


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)