Monday, September 12, 2011


I'm getting lots of reports, and have personally experienced, that lemon (and other citrus) trees here in the mountains suffered badly from the severe winter and cyclonic winds this year. It's important to try and protect lemons from frosts and winds because they damage bud growth and rip leaves off the plants. Remember you can always remove lemons when they are still green and ripen them inside. Lemons are one of the most frequently used kitchen fruits. At the recent preserving workshop that Anne Elliott held — and will be delivering again at the North Katoomba Footlight Festival 22 October — we almost-quartered lemons (i.e. cut them right down to the nipple but kept the fruit intact), stuffed them with course sea salt, laid them in a big glass jar and covered them with lemon juice and more salt (as in the photo above). After this, the jar needs to be inverted daily to make sure the salt dissolves well and the mixture is evenly distributed over the lemons (as in the photo below). These preserved lemons/lemon skins are rinsed on removal and make wonderful additions to all kinds of dishes, especially any time your lemon tree has no fruit left on it for you to use. (Both photos were taken at the recent workshop.)

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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)