The Pink Ladies are waiting for you
Last few trees need moving!!
Hi and welcome to spring,
The blossom is bursting out and the bees are a-buzzin - which is great for everything except the work we haven't got done yet!!!
Thank you to everyone who came along to the Grafting Day - it was great seeing so many people enjoying the orchard.
The demonstrations were brilliant (such expertise out there - amazing) and we were all blown away by how well-informed those buying grafted trees and scion wood were. Again - heaps of talent and interest out there, which is great to see.
We also managed to move a good number of trees and another impromptu working bee saw a few more moved last week.
However, we need to get the last trees out of the nursery and into the orchard before they wake up too much.
SOOOOooo oo we're holding another working bee this Sunday in a mad rush to beat the blossom. Can you spare us an hour or two?
Richard and Adam and co will be zapping between the Old Homestead Nursery and the Orchard from 10am, and will probably be slaving away until about 2pm, so meet them there when you can.
BYO gloves, lunch and water bottle (there are bubblers for topping up). It's almost sunscreen time-of-year, too, so slap or slop or whatever.
Fun & Fitness Day
Sunday 4 September
BYO gloves, lunch, drink
Black Sapote and Bonza books
Cecilia has launched a challenge - to germinate, grow and get fruit off a Black Sapote in Melbourne's chilly climate.
She has a tree growing in her bayside garden so knows they can survive this far south - but can they fruit?
She says: "They grow very easily from fresh seed and they DO survive Melbourne winters as long as they are really sheltered. Some seedlings I grew last year have overwintered beneath the lower leaves of my lemon tree out in the garden and are perfectly fine. I don't know if they will ever bear fruit but it's not impossible. Meanwhile they make a very pretty house plant, if you bring them inside in a pot."
Also known as the Chocolate Pudding Fruit Tree, the fruit is picked green and left to turn brown, which takes about 3-6 days.
Here's some info from the endless encyclopaedia of fruit growing known as Daleys Nursery:
Not surprisingly this is one of our most popular fruits and if you like Chocolate you'll love Black Sapote. Commonly known as Chocolate Pudding Fruit this amazing fruit is low in fat and an excellent source of Vitamin C containing about 4 times as much as an orange. The fruit is delicious eaten fresh or used as a chocolate substitute in recipes and milkshakes or simply mix the pulp with yogurt and lemon juice for a refreshing treat. Fruits can be cut in half and eaten covered in passion fruit, in Mexico the pulp is mashed with orange juice or brandy and served with cream, it is also delicious mixed with wine, cinnamon and sugar.
The green fruit is picked when hard and allowed to soften and go brown within 3-6 days. At the ripe stage - you should be able to press the skin with your fingers and leave an indent. A very close relative of the persimmon the black sapote is a Chocoholics dream come true!
Apparently it grows quite well from seed, so give it a go....
Organic Fruit Growing - Your complete guide to producing beautiful fruit all year round by Annette McFarlane.
Also worth looking out for is a new book by accomplished Australian author Annette McFarlane, a regular contributor to the ABC Organic Gardener magazine.
The 224-page paperback edition is a follow-up to Organic Vegetable Gardening and Successful Gardening in Warm Climates (she's based in Brissy and grows Black Sapote, plus about 40 other species) and she writes intelligent garden books, not fluffy coffee-table dust collectors.
As well as sections on preparing to plant, pruning and training pest and disease prevention and control, weeks and propagating, she also includes nutrition - so often overlooked.
Part Two is an A to Z of fruit, followed by recipes,but what I like best is the methodical listing for each fruit of family, origins, best climate, size, first harves, how to plant, whether chilling is needed, pollination, pruning, fertilsig season, lifespan and ease of culture BEFORE you get to the real detail, which includes harvesting and storage, pot culture, varieties, potential problems, cultivation etc.
If you weren't already convinced about the benefits of growing organically, she includes odd bits of info such as: 'Prir to packing and transportm non-organically grown tamarillo fruit are routinely dipped in insecticide as a post-harvest treatment'.
published by Gardening Australia; RRP $35.00