Sunday, December 14, 2014
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Be aware that even local shops will sell plants and trees which may not grow in your yard as the climate changes so much from one end of the mountains to another. So it makes sense to do a bit of research first (see our list of what grows where) and talk to the staff if you're still not sure, before you suffer the lost of a tree (heartbreaking!).
If you're looking for a wider variety, and heritage trees for, then mail order is your best bet.
Up north, in warmer climes, Forbidden Fruits have everything from Acerola Cherry (Malpighia emarginata) Midyim berry(Austromytus dulcis) to the humungous White Sapote.
Daleys Fruit Trees based in northern NSW have a terrific selection and heaps of buyers contribute to a community forum with lots of growing experiences shared. They also offer trees especially for container growing and at the other end of the scale, have a wholesale option for those of you looking to establish larger orchards.
Upper mountains residents in our cool climate may prefer to buy trees from similar cooler climates which need less acclimatisation on delivery to our mountain heights.
Woodbridge Fruit Trees is where all the heritage apple trees down at Katoomba Community Gardens came from over 20 years ago, and all but one still going strong. You can buy trees 'bare rooted' without soil attached and therefore less shipping costs from them in mid-winter mid July-August. They stock dwarf trees, crab apples, plums, apricots and quinces & 'step over' apples for those of use packing a lot of fruit into smaller spaces. Check out their guide to pollination to make sure of good productivity.
Pete the Permie is brimming with passion and knowledge about fruit trees, and on his site you can find excellent information about the range of different rootstocks something not well or easily explained elsewhere. Although based in Victoria and not inclined to post trees unless absolutely necessary, he will be travelling around a bit in Winter so pick ups can be arranged.
Yalca Fruit Trees also in Victoria, delivering July/August stock a large range of fruit and nut trees including quite an extensive range of figs and ballerina apples (grow in one column).
Diggers, also based in Victoria, are perhaps better known for open pollinated seeds also sell a wide variety of heritage fruit and nut trees. The community gardens' pear trees planted there in the shelter of a long established hazel hedge in the community gardens are doing well. They also supply various 'collections' which ensure you have the right trees for pollination and/or supply with fruit throughout the season with early mid and late cropping varieties.
If you know of fruit tree sellers who should be added to this list please get in touch with the Fruit and Nut Tree Network via firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Now Leura Harvest Festival is a calling for your tastiest jams! If you're feeling a little confident about your jam making this year, or just want to find out what jams others are creating, then this is the competition for you.
Monday, March 3, 2014
In my backyard is the most self-sufficient tree of all time. A plum of some description with dark flesh and lovely weeping branches. I do nothing to it. I don’t prune it, water it, or fertilise it. All I do is ignore it. As thanks it fruits abundantly each year. I remember it only when cajoling currawongs and screeching sulphur crested yobbos take up residence in its upper branches. The riot in my backyard tells me it’s time to harvest. Overcome with ennui I continue to ignore it letting the plums fall and the birds plunder. It seems a shame and a waste but what would I do with all those plums anyway?
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
It’s not the same as crushing and pressing, but it is what’s on offer, so in the grand spirit of necessity being the mother of cider invention, off we go. We arrive at the house of juicers with two large and very strong reusable shopping bags full of apples. Two masticating juicers (these have slow rotating blades which emulate a chewing action to liberate maximum juice), chopping boards and knives are laid out at the ready, and our task is all the swifter for it.
Much chopping and juicing ensues. We stop to allow both juicers to cool down a couple of times from our mammoth effort, and within 2 hours (tea break not included) we’ve cut off the very bad bits, and chopped and juiced 33 kilos of windfalls. Our haul produces around 15 litres of juice which we pour into a fermenter pail for a first fermentation.
About 5cm of solid foam forms on top which we scoop off. Because we make beer at home we also have a hydrometer, we take a reading and it comes in around 1.044, which is a little lower than the recommended density, so if it works this cider probably will be relatively sweet. We test the juice at this stage, which is sharp, acidic and very very appley.
|yes, it's quite hard to get a reading|
There are plenty of apples to ripen still, come down to the community gardens on a Friday morning at 10am if you'd like to arrange to take some apples and try a cider making experiment yourself :-)
BLUE MOUNTAINS FRUIT CALENDAR
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)
- ▼ 2014 (5)
- ► 2012 (19)
- ► 2011 (40)
- ► 2010 (46)