Monday, December 16, 2013

24 hours in a food forest

by Sue Girard

This term TAFE Outreach and the Fruit and Nut Tree Network presented not one but two sets of workshops Food Forests at the Katoomba's Organic Community Gardens. 

Over a dozen eager students from the Blue Mountains and just beyond, fronted up to find out what is involved in creating a Food Forest and how you would maintain one right here in this Temperate and Cool Mountainous climate. 

Through the course, students explored how an immature woodland could be the most productive type of forest in providing fruit and nuts for people to consume. Together we looked at what would help trees grow and how to develop an ideal ecosystem to keep them in good health. 

We planted nitrogen fixing seeds as well as longer lasting plants down near the citrus grove, not only to improve soil fertility but also to create a wind break from our late winter winds. We also rejuvenated the understory of herb and ground covers below the heritage apple tree walk in an endeavour to boost the productivity in that area. Intricacies of chill hours and incompatible flowers were just a few of the topics touched upon including pests and pruning. We found juvenile ladybeetles (good guys) and wooly aphids (bad guys) but fortunately no snakes, considering the suitable weather.

The students reported that they loved the interaction with the garden, and the informal – non classroom feel of the learning structure. Several expressed a wish to continue similar courses with TAFE and are hopeful such community engagement with TAFE will continue well after the financial year 2014.

Big thank you to everyone who came along, learning to help develop a food forest, and helping one mountains food forest grow. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Free Food Forest course coming to Katoomba in October

It's been in the making over winter, and finally The Fruit and Nut Tree Network is excited to announce a great new course to help you create and maintain a wonderful productive food forest, and best of all its totally FREE.

If you're thinking about creating a forest of food from scratch, or considering retrofitting an existing orchard or stand of trees, or adding trees to a mature garden it can be hard to know where to start. How do you design to create a harmonious environment for beneficial and productive plants, and discourage pests and disease? You'll find out the answers to such thorny questions as these, and much much more. 

  • How much room does a tree need? Won't I overcrowd it by underplanting?
  • can I feed different fruit trees without buying specialised fertilisers?
  • Will fruit be carried and spread into the bush?
  • Are there any trees you shouldn't plant under?
  • Do fruit trees all need pollinating by other trees?
  • How much care, attention food air light & water do all these extra plants need?

Whether you're starting off in in 2 square meters or overhauling two hectares, many of the same strategies apply. Our upcoming free course in association with TAFE and the blue mountains community gardens in Katoomba will help you on your way. 

Phone Denise on 4753 2039 or email to secure your place.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Food Dehydrating forum

What do you do when you have a state of the art food dehydrator and you don’t really know what to do with it?

Where do you start? What’s possible? What works well and not so well? What are the tricks? The answer is, you tap into the wealth of skills and knowledge that already exist in the community and bring it together within a FOOD DEHYDRATING FORUM.

That’s exactly what a member of the Fruit and Nut Tree Network did on Saturday June 1st. About fifteen women (no men put their hand up?) gathered in a cosy Leura home and pooled their knowledge regarding the dehydration of food. Some women had been doing it all their lives, following in family traditions, while others got into it through bush walking and outdoor activities. Most wanted ways to preserve seasonal fruits and veges either from their own garden abundance or from seasonal shop/farm gate offerings.

The group learned about making leather strips of fruit or veges, the ins and outs of meat jerky, fabulous and easy ways of dehydrating and re-hydrating whole dinners, semi dried tomatoes that start off reducing on a hot car bonnet, drying herbs, making yogurt and tips on reducing sauces/spreads to powders that reconstitute into things like tomato soup/paste, humus, babaganoush or an infinite number of other sauces that can be quickly added to dishes to boost nutrition and flavour.

Examples of dried foods were available to see/taste and one participant leaned that you must first blanch sweet potato rounds if you want them to result in really crispy yummy chips post dehydrating. Safe storage was also explored - plastic, glass or vacuum sealed bags and there were several brands of machines and cutting equipment on display to aid in future purchases.

All in all, it was exhilarating and inspiring and the best possible way to spend a cold cloudy winter’s day. The beginner dehydrators swam in a pool of tried and true knowledge while the experienced picked up further tips and recipes along with the satisfaction of sharing their skills. If there is sufficient interest, the forum could be run again next year.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Chestnuts roasting in a woodfired outdoor oven

Fabulous chestnuts brought from Mt Irvine and Mt Tomah took centre stage at the weekend's permaculture day celebrations at the community Garden. Both seemed yielded their creamy sweet nutty centres easily, sliding from the shells when expertly cooked in this traditional chestnut roasting pan. You can always roast chestnuts in the oven too, and that's a great way to heat the kitchen as the temperature drops.  I noted chestnuts from Bathurst at the co-op last Friday but I suspect we won't see too many more of these from local sources now. Remember fresh chestnuts don't keep for long even in the fridge.
chestnuts cooked in a fancy pan
A this time of year, the risk of frosty nights and cold winds increase, remember to protect any young citrus trees with a hessian or shade cloth wrapped securly around garden stakes as a tent (those under 3 years).

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Medlar: The Fruit of Misunderstanding

by Melanie and Alexander 
The medlar is no ordinary fruit; it has inspired reverence and revulsion because of its obscure ripening process.  The centre of a medlar flower invites curiosity and introspection. Flirtatious stigmas and stamens reflect the self-fertilizing nonchalance of a fruit which is edible when it borders on rotting. As the medlar fruit matures on the tree it resembles an apple with a crown at its bottom. 

Its nether region is the source of risqué references in literature, including this one from William  Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (II, 1, 34-38):
"Now will he sit under a medlar tree,
And wish his mistress were that kind of fruit
As maids call medlars, when they laugh alone.
O Romeo, that she were, O that she were
An open-arse and thou a poperin pear!"

They are said to be “A fruit that ripens through its own corruption”.
Medlar is related to quinces and apples, and part of the rose family. Medlar trees grow very
slowly to 10 to 25 feet tall (3 to 7.5 metres), with a spread of 7 to 15 feet (2 to 4 1/2 metres.)
The wood of the tree is light red and very hard with a very fine grain; it was often used for
canes and walking sticks. The trees will start bearing fruit after 4 to 6 years, and are very long
lived. The leaves are long and pointed with hairs underneath them.

The trees bloom a month later than apple trees, producing pinky-white flowers. The fruit is
small and round. It starts off with greenish-yellow skin ripening to rust coloured. There is an indent at the top of the fruit, and several seeds inside.
The fruit is picked in the autumn when the leaves start to fall off the tree. You pick them right
after the first frost, when they are still hard. At this stage, they are not only too hard to eat;
they are also too sour to eat. The fruit needs to rot a bit first (this is called "bletting") before it
is actually considered "ripe" enough to eat. This takes about 2 to 3 weeks in storage. They will
become soft, mooshy brown, sweet and tasty with a flavour close to applesauce or cider. If
the word "rot" is too indelicate, you could always say that they need to mature, like a wine or
 “Bletting,” permits the breakdown of starches into sugars. As the flesh softens the inside of a
medlar begins to resemble applesauce. It is precisely at this time that notes of cider, spice
and the musk of ripe apricots develops. There is short window of time between edible and
rotten, which has led to adoration by connoisseurs and disgust by those who cannot contend
with the medlar’s fermentation. The fruit is more tenacious than those who have no patience
for its obscurity. In addition to being self-pollinating the medlar can set fruit without
pollination—nature’s reckoning for those who misunderstand this amazing fruit.
Medlars may be eaten raw, cooked or baked. Jellies are commonly made as the fruit is
naturally rich in pectin. Medlar varieties include: Dutch, Macrocarpa, Nottingham and Royal.
Nottingham fruits are about 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide. The Dutch and Macrocarpa have somewhat
larger fruit.

MEDLAR CHEESE (An old recipe!) 
Put some Medlars into an earthenware jar, stand it in a saucepan with boiling water nearly to
the top and keep it boiling gently over a slow fire. When the Medlars are quite soft, pass them
through a fine hair sieve, and weigh the pulp, and for every pound allow one and a half
breakfast cups of coarsely crushed loaf sugar and half a teaspoonful of allspice. Put all the
ingredients together in the preserving pan, and stir them over the fire with a wooden spoon
until thickly reduced, skimming occasionally. Turn the cheese into moulds, and keep them in a
cold place. When ready to serve, turn the cheeses out of the moulds on to a dish.
From Theodore Garrett The Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery (London 1880)

MEDLAR CHEESE (A modern translation) 
Put some Medlars into a Pyrex bowl, stand it in a saucepan with boiling water nearly to the
top and keep it boiling gently over a slow heat. When the Medlars are quite soft, pass them
through a fine sieve, and weigh the pulp, and for every pound allow one and a half breakfast
cups of coarsely crushed sugar and half a teaspoonful of allspice. Put all the ingredients
together in a preserving pan, and stir them over the heat with a wooden spoon until thickly
reduced, skimming occasionally. Turn the cheese into moulds, and keep them in a cold place.
When ready to serve, turn the cheeses out of the moulds on to a dish.
MEDLAR CHEESE (A Country Harvest Cookbook)
Equal weights of medlar pulp and sugar
1–2 oranges or 3-6 mandarins – juice and zest
Ground cloves
Stir pulp and sugar together in a pan, add the juice and zest of the oranges (or mandarins) to
Heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the pulp is thick and comes away from the sides of the
pan. Remove from heat.
Add cloves to taste and mix well. Pour into a buttered dish or tray. When dry, cut into
squares (can be sprinkled with sugar) and store in airtight containers with fresh bay leaves
between layers of baking paper. Serve as a sweetmeat with coffee or cheese.

MEDLAR JELLY (Method 1: Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall)
• 1kg medlars (quartered but not peeled)
• 500g Bramley cooking apples
• About 650g granulated sugar
1. Quarter the medlars. Peel and chop the apples and tip the fruit into a preserving pan, or
any heavy-bottomed, deep, wide pan, with just enough water to cover.
2. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30-45 minutes, until the medlars are soft and pulpy.
3. Strain through a jelly bag on a stand set over a large bowl. Don't be tempted to poke,
squeeze or force the pulp through the bag or you'll get a cloudy jelly, just leave it to drip over
the bowl for several hours or overnight. Don't discard the pulp though – it’s perfect for adding
to our chutney.
4. Measure the juice, pour into a clean preserving pan and bring to boiling point before adding
the sugar (for every 1l of juice, add 650g of sugar). Stir, in one direction only to reduce foam,
until sugar is totally dissolved then boil rapidly for 8 minutes or until the setting point is
reached. If you have a preserving thermometer, it should read 104.5°C; if you don’t have a
thermometer, drop a little jelly onto a saucer which you have chilled in the fridge. Let the jelly cool for a minute then push it gently with your finger. If it crinkles, it has reached its setting
point. Remove from the heat and skim off any scum using a slotted spoon.
5. Decant carefully into a warm jug and pour into warm, sterilised jars.

MEDLAR JELLY (Method 2: A Country Harvest cookbook) 
Put soft, ripe medlars whole into a pan and just cover with water. Cook gently until the fruit is
pulpy. Place into a double layer of muslin, and hang over a basin so that the juice drips into
the basin. Leave overnight. Measure the liquid into a pan. Add 2 cups of sugar for every 2½
cups of juice. Heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves, then boil rapidly until the jelly sets when
tested. Pour into warm, sterilised jars.

Sieve the pulp left in the muslin – this can be stored in the refrigerator and used in the recipes
below. It can also be sweetened to taste, maybe add some spices and/or citrus zest, and
used in smoothies, served with yoghurt or ice cream, stirred into porridge, etc.

MEDLAR AND APPLE CHUTNEY (Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall)
• 3-4 tbsp sunflower oil
• 4 tbsp mustard seeds
• 2 tbsp crushed black peppercorns
• 1 tbsp fenugreek seeds
• 1 tbsp ground cumin
• 2 tsp turmeric
• 1 bulb of garlic, peeled and grated
• 5-7cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
• 6 fresh red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
• 2kg Bramley apples, cored and chopped
• 500g dark Muscovado sugar
• 500ml cider vinegar
• 2 tbsp salt
• The left over pulp from the medlar jelly, or about 700g pears, peeled, cored and
1. Warm the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over a medium heat and add the spices,
stirring well and frying until the mustard seeds just begin to pop. This will only take a minute
or so – be careful not to scorch the spices. Add the garlic, ginger and chillies, stir well, and fry
gently for few minutes.
2. Tip the chopped apples into a large preserving pan and pour over the spices.
3. Add the sugar, vinegar and salt, along with the left over pulp from the medlar jelly, or the
pears if you are using them instead.
4. Stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves, then simmer for about 2 hours until thickened,
stirring occasionally and adding a little water if you think it’s beginning to look too thick.
5. Bottle in warm, sterilised jars, filling the jars really full as the mixture will shrink slightly as it
cools. Seal with vinegar-proof lids.

MEDLAR CAKE (A Country Harvest Cookbook) 
½ cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup medlar pulp
½ -1 cup sultanas
1tsp bicarb
1tsp hot water
½ - 1tsp ground cloves
2 cups plain flour
Grated rind of 1 lemon or orange
¼ cup walnuts
Cream butter and sugar until smooth, and blend in the medlar pulp and sultanas.
Dissolve the bicarb in the hot water and add to the mixture.
Sift the cloves and flour and fold in with the grated rind.
Put into a greased tin and sprinkle with walnuts
Bake at 180C for 1 hour.

MEDLAR TART (A Country Harvest Cookbook – this is an old Elizabethan recipe)) 
“Take medlars that are rotten, strain them, and set them on a chaffing dish of coals, season
them with sugar, cinamon and ginger, put some yolks of eggs to them, let it boil a little, and
lay it in a cut tart; being baked scrape on sugar.”
Robert May The Accomplisht Cook 1660
Shortcrust pastry shell (use your favourite recipe)
Medlar pulp
Sugar to taste
Spices – ginger, cinnamon or cloves
Grated citrus peel
Egg yolks
Beat the pulp and egg yolks until thick and smooth. Blend in sugar and spice (amount to suit
your tastes), and grated citrus peel. Spoon into the pie shell and bake at 200C until the
pastry is brown and the filling set (depending on your oven, this should take about 30
Variations: You can add some dried fruits (sultanas, glace peel, etc), or nuts. The egg
whites can be beaten to stiff peaks, sweetened with sugar, and piled on top before cooking to
make a medlar meringue pie.

Makes about 4lbs
- 2lbs medlars
- 2 small lemons
- 3 cloves
- 1pint apple cider
- 2lb light brown sugar
- Honey or maple syrup to taste, cream and macaroons to serve.
• Wash and chop fruit, add cloves and cider.
• Simmer until fruit is soft.
• Sieve and weigh the pulp.
• Add three quarters of its weight in sugar and bring back to boil, then bottle and seal.
• When required, whip the fruit cheese with honey or maple syrup until soft, spoon into
bowls and top with whipped cream and broken macaroons.

Black Pepper
Squish the medlars, as many as you have or have patience to squish. (The stuff that's left
after you smoosh your medlars: Pour boiling water over it, and leave to cool. Strain through a
sieve and you have MEDLAR NECTAR.)
Put the pulp in a pan with a like amount of honey, e.g. 1/2 cup medlar to 1/2 cup of honey.
To that, put what seems like a ridiculous amount of spice, e.g. 1/2 teaspoon each of
coriander, cardamom, and ginger, and three freshly smashed peppercorns. Add your butter (a
walnut-sized blob).
Cook over medium heat, stirring all the while with a wooden spoon. It should seethe nicely in
no time, and thicken faster than it should, considering anything exotic should take several
hours. Consider it done when it parts to your spoon, falling back before you can say a twosyllable word. It will be satiny and pourable but not runny.
Pour into an oiled tray or dish to a depth that is as thick as you have patience for, because it
needs to dry. Put aside till it sets firm enough to do what you will with it, which may be two
days later, when it is rubbery enough to come away in one piece when lifted with a knife, but
still pliable enough to be rolled up without cracking.
To make these medlar comfits:
Cut into strips and roll up or cut into shapes (squares or diamonds are easiest). Put them on
waxed paper in a cardboard box. Leave for several weeks at least, not only for the
consistency to be firmer and chewier, but for the spices and honey to properly mellow.
These comfits are spectacularly good eaten with an accompaniment of walnuts. Serve also
with cheese, wine, and with coffee or hot chocolate.

8 lb / 3,600 grams Medlars
3 lb / 1,350 grams sugar
Pectin enzyme
Water up to 1 gallon
1/2 pint strong black tea
Campden tablet
Yeast nutrient
Wine yeast
Place the ripe fruit in a fermentation bucket and pour over the boiling water. Add 1 lb. of sugar
and an equal quantity of cold water. Add the campden tablet, pectin enzyme and yeast
nutrient and wine yeast. Cover and leave for three days in a warm place, stirring daily. Strain
through a fine sieve and add the rest of the sugar and put into a demijohn and fit an airlock to
seal the jar.
Store in a warm place and allow the fermentation to work. When fermentation has ceased,
rack the wine into a clean jar and place in a cooler environment and leave. When the wine is
clear and stable siphon into bottles.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Preserving Traditions Winter Workshops

Hang on to that harvest for longer and the kitchen warmer in these delightful processes. Come along and learn how easy it is to fill those shelves with homegrown or foraged fruits. If you've a favorite ferment, ways with pickling or you're nuts about flours and want to share those skills, or you'd simply like to experiment with ways of storing & enhancing nutrition and flavours over winter, get in touch with the fruit and nut tree network via

Friday, April 19, 2013

local produce this weekend at the co-op

This week a the co-op find local Persimmons, Lemonades, Rhubarb, tamarillos, quinces, lemons, apples, chestnuts,  kale, cos lettuce, rocket, bok choy, chillies, pumpkin, parsley, & beans. Feast on that! More updates over at the co-op  

Remember to look out too for free ingredients from fellow mountain fruits and nuts sharing their surplus, like these free curry leaves.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Edible Plants for Sale in Clarendon at the Collectors' Plant Fair Today


If you're a fruit and nut enthusiast not sure what to do after breakfast today (Sunday 14th April) then you'd do well to head on over to Clarendon, Richmond this to catch day two of the Collectors' Plant Fair. It's not such a well publicised event, and only thanks to gardening friend Lloyd this is the first time I've had the opportunity to attend event, rather than just hear about it some weeks later. 

With talks, plant stalls & refreshments this is easily a full day out. Sunday's talks begin with landscape gardener Michael Bligh on Edible Gardening in a more formal garden context in an eclectic schedule.  Plant enthusiasts, garden geeks, books, accessories as well as plants you will rarely see elsewhere all feature at this friendly event. 

$12 gets an adult through the turnstile, accompanying under 18's get in for free.

We're just there for a morning and so it's my chance to see what small productive plants I can find for my own garden and see the wider range of suppliers all in the one spot. With over 40 nurseries' stalls, it would be easy to be overwhelmed, so I checked out the list of nurseries selling edibles as a shortlist,  within those stopping to explore those with whom I felt some accord in their plant selections. I picked up some more unusual herbs like caraway thyme at 5 for $15 at Four Seasons Herbs in Coffs Harbour. Bargain! Their stall includes certified organic garlic, saffron corms and even wasabi all at prices lower than advertised on their website. If you're as keen to seek out unusual fruits to keep fresh sources of vitamin C flowing throughout the year,  peruse the offerings from Forbidden Fruits who have everything from Acerola Cherry (Malpighia emarginata) & Midyim berry (Austromytus dulcis) to the humungous White Sapote (Casimiroa edulis) tree, at up to 15m high its not one for my tiny backyard unfortunately!

If you discover this post a little later than 'in the nick of time' don't despair, many of the great plants suitable for fruit and nut tree growers are available at some participating nurseries on site or online for the rest of the year through nurseries represented at this event. 

Visit nearby Secret Garden at the UWS Richmond campus who have an open day coming up in time for Permaculture Day weekend with Autumn Harvest on Saturday 4th May, or locally to our own Blue Mountains Community Gardens in North Katoomba also be open for plant sales on the morning of May 5th for International Permaculture Day. Online pleasures can be found at Forbidden Fruits with their formidable catalogue of unusual fruit, and Heaven in Earth displayed a fabulous range of low key, beautiful and useful gifts made from natural materials for you and your gardening friends. I'll also mention that the  wonderfully helpful & friendly booksellers Florilegium carry a range of excellent books on edible gardening including the mighty Edible Forest Gardens volumes, online or in Glebe. Full list of nurseries at this special annual sale available here.

If you know of  sales, swaps or events coming up through the year which would be of interest to budding or established food foresters, please leave a message here or drop a line to and we'll include it in upcoming calendar notices and/or newsletters.

Monday, April 8, 2013

This week (8th April) at the Food Co-op local producers have brought in HEAPS: Quinces, figs, limes, apples, plums, chestnuts, beetroot, potatoes, beans, choy sum, chillies, parsley, basil, chives, rhubarb - see regular updates on their facebook page, share and swap with the Blue Mountains Foragers' Network and monthly in the mid mountains at Crop and Swap (next meeting April 13th)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

April 6th: Dehydrating Food Workshop

Dehydrating Workshop on Saturday 6 April with Maggie 
hot chillies drying for later

Dehydrating: Sucking the juice out of food. Or, in more techno speak, a food processing technique that extracts the moisture in foods, thereby inhibiting the growth of microorganisms facilitating the preservation of food for indefinite periods. 

Dehydration is one of the oldest methods of food preservation – going back to prehistoric people who sun-dried seeds. At the workshop there will be no experts. Just a lot of folks sharing experiences. 

Different styles of dehydrating machines will be on display as well as examples of delicious dehydrated food stuffs like: beef jerky, fruit and vege strips, as well as some surprises. 

Did you know you can dehydrate soups and even complete meals? 

So this workshop is perfect for everyone, no matter where you fall on the dehydrating experience scale. 

 Bring a little something to share for morning tea and it’s not necessary for it to have been dehydrated! 

Please email/phone Maggie if you wish to attend for full address of workshop in Leura. 

Hope to see you there. 4782 2441

Monday, January 21, 2013

Fruit and Nut Events Coming Up

A beautiful morning to meet up and organise events for the fruit and nut tree network at the Community Gardens in Harold Hodgson Park. Its still early enough in the day not to accumulate too many mosquito bites we meet to discuss what we might arrange over the summer months. And the outcome? We’re looking forward to delicious combinations of both planned and spontaneous activities based on what the seasons bring, and of course we hope you'll join us....
Anne, Kris, Jed, Rosie, Maggie and Sue

January 29th as network members know already, is the date for our popular Summer hands-on workshop:  preserving with fowlers vacola with Anne Elliott - contact to participate and create some beautiful jars of lovely fruit in this uniquely Australian tradition.
Find out more at the Slow Food website or see our post on the last session.

Summer brings so many fruits and this year is looking like a bumper crop all around, our friends at Todarello's Fruit market on the Bathurst Road, Katoomba will be letting us in on any super big spoils. Bruised fruit may not be acceptable for shoppers' fruit bowls at home, but they're great for preserving as jams, pickles and relishes. So throughout January and February, be on alert for news of fallen fruit jam and rescued relish making sessions which Anne will be hosting any morning there is such a surplus at 11am - FREE

Sunday February 16th - Love your trees this Valentine’s weekend, and find out all about Summer Fruit Tree Pruning in the mid mountains.  Ben Gorrick (from Intree Solutions) will be running a masterclass on pruning - there will be the opportunity for lots of questions, and some guided hands-on practice.  Kris has several established (and very overgrown) fruit trees (apricot, apple & pear);  we’ll be turning these into ‘pedestrian’ height trees with the capacity to turn them into weeping habit to increase productivity.  Contact Kris via email or call 0458 626210 to arrange your spot in this workshop (and to help with catering for the refreshments :-) ). 

Suggested donations to contribute: $10 waged, $5 unwaged.

In March we’ll be organising one of our calendar highlights gathering chestnuts in nearby Mt Irvine with Kookootonga Farm
. We’re dependent on when the nuts are dropping, so sign up for updates or look out on the fruit and nut tree website to find out more.

Saturday April 6th  The date for a dehydrating workshop - no experts. Just curious individuals who want to share helpful tips and information, ask questions and discover more about the diverse products you can make at home with a dehydrator. Bring all your experience to share or come as a beginner and see what it’s all about. - contact Maggie at if you’d like to attend. This event is FREE.

Next meeting of the fruit and nut tree network is: Sunday Feb. 24, 10 am  at the Community Gardens in Katoomba. Bring (local) nibbles to share.


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)