Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Meeting about continuing and expanding our network

We invite you to a meeting on Sunday 25 November, at 10.30 am at Cloudlands, 6 Banksia Park Road in Katoomba, to discuss how to continue and expand the BM Fruit and Nut Tree Network. Since its rejuvenation a few years ago, Anitra has been the key contact point for the network. Earlier this year, while Anitra was overseas, Kat Szuminska filled that role. Although Anitra returned late in July, she plans to move interstate (back to Victoria) in the near future. The role is already too much for one person so we need to work out ways to keep the network operating and to expand it.

This meeting will explore different ways that the network can operate. We're particularly interested in hearing from people who can invest time themselves but good ideas are welcome too. One idea is to have more sub-regional nodes, activities which rotate round the upper mountains, lower mountains and mid mountains. Up till now the network has been upper mountains centric simply because more people there have been prepared to offer time to activities there. We have more community gardens throughout our region now to support such activities and lots of members up and down the mountains so there seems to be a lot of potential to grow.

If you have ideas or can volunteer but can't make this meeting please contact us to discuss your thoughts and offers. Feel free to forward ideas for the agenda now, even though you will be able to add items when we start the meeting on 25 November — to Anitra

Contact Kat if you want to be involved in a bulk buy of fruit trees from Daleys Nursery: download a free catalogue here

The Blue Mountains Food Co-op welcomes supplies of garden grown fruit and nuts, which you can label with a price or chose to give away free. Look out for this kind of produce there too.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

An Introduction to the Fruit and Nut Tree Network

A little while ago, Kat Anitra and Sue were kindly invited by the Springwood Gardening Club to talk about our little network. Anitra put together these slides which you can share with anyone who would like to know a little more about what we do. Thanks Anitra! If your community group is interested in learning more about growing fruit and nut trees in the mountains or would just like to get together, just get in touch. Contact details may be found at the end of this presentation.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fruit and nut trees and friends

The latest Daley's catalogue is out for your perusal! Download as a PDF here

Flicking through the pages of potential fruit trees for our gardens and properties is truly an exciting experience. The thoughts of sweet smelling fruit trees providing not only fruit but a host of other benefits. Many fruit trees, as well as fruits on the vine are deciduous, growing leaves in summer leading up to Summer Autumn fruiting, then pulling back nutrients and dropping leaves in winter, thus conveniently letting through the winter sun, making them a terrific choice for the hotter northern sides of our homes.

If you're wondering what grows well where and what to plant in your backyard, or you've been growing for a while and want to update your growing experiences, come on down to the Slow Food stand at the Festival on the Green this weekend in Springwood and have a chat with Anitra and perhaps meet some fellow fruit and nut tree growers too.

Festival of the Green Saturday October 27th 2012 10-4pm
With Special Guest Presenter Costa Georgiadis from Gardening Australia!

Sustainable and soil nourishing techniques including composting, worm farming and no dig gardening feature in workshops in this family friendly day out. Great ways to build up the kind of soil you need to give fruit & nut trees as well as other trees and plants in your garden or orchard.  All that nutrition you might pour on from a bottle of fertilizer from the shops could come through organic matter, nature's recycling. Ever wondered how you'd design compost differently for fruit trees over other plants? Find out more with the permies composting demos and discussions. 

Grass is the enemy of many a fruit tree, competing for water soil for starters! With Oasis seedlings for sale (donated, proceeds to the school) you might find a better alternative to plant beneath your trees, companion plants which have a more beneficial relationship with your own fruit trees (and think of not having to mow!) Nasturtiums are said to deter coddling moth and can wind their way around a tree with plenty of light and air. Borage with its long flowering season keeps many a bee and other important pollinating insect happy. Plant scented herbs to deter or confuse pests (and make tea for you! like lemon balm and mint) nitrogen fixing legumes like peas to run up your apple trees, and ground covers play their part as a living mulch, keep water in the soil and provide welcoming microclimates and shelter to call home for beneficial predatory insects. 

Find out more about companion planting and other great seasonal fruit tree growing tips with Anitra representing the Fruit and Nut Tree Network at the Slow Foods Stall. Thanks Anne and Anitra!

For heaps more info about this fab festival see their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Festivalofthegreen


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)