Term 1 2012 – What’s growing?

Our trees and vines have been in the ground for almost 3 years and it is lovely to see the increased production of fruit each term – especially term 1 which is probably always going to be the most prolific. This is good timing for our new Garden to Table programme so Sarah in the kitchen has produce to cook with.  Here is a list of what we are harvesting this term:

  • Chilean guava berries – hundreds of them. They tend to be ready for picking at the end of feb. We did a freezer test and it seems they freeze well so that’s where lots of them are for now. They are good for muffins or for guava jelly but always best straight off the bush on a sunny day.
  • Apples! We have a triple grafted apple tree which has Initial,  Beaujade and Sir Prize. We have about 40 Initial apples wrapped in newspaper in the shed until Sarah has an apple cooking week. We had to pick them as the birds were getting mighty interested.
  • Avocados – We have 3 avocado trees and about 100 little avocados growing between 2 of them. I need to check when they will be ready to pick but i think it’s a long time yet. I do know that they ripen off the tree.
  • Feijoas – we have 3 trees – early Unique, mid season appollo, late season wiki Tu (i think thats the right way round) and as usual they are faithfully producing lots of fruit. Won’t be long before the early variety is ready to pick.
  • Bananas – Another banana flower appeared on our big tree over summer and is now showing lots of little fruit and then just recently the smaller banana tree began to fruit for the first time too, so 2 bunches growing at once. Can i express how exciting this is?
  • Passion fruit – like most vines in Auckland it seems, our orchard vine got some fungal disease over summer because of the wet weather, however, we still have lots of fruit from it and even though they look a bit yucky, the insides seem fine so we have all continued to enjoy them. Hundred of fruit have either been eaten straight away, used in the cooking classes or had the pulp removed and frozen.
  • Blueberries – just a few on our tiny bushes, enough for the birds and the odd child.

What is not growing?

  • Grapes!!! Here is a lesson learned. Before Xmas we had hundreds growing. Came back after summer to find the birds had had a massive feast. Lesson = Net the grapes before Xmas holidays!! We did have a beautiful birds nest with blue eggs in the grapevine though which all the kids enjoyed seeing so not all bad.
  • Citrus – well not exactly not growing at all but very slow and not masses of fruit yet. We have lots of citrus trees around school now – I think 23 if i recall – and they are slow to get going. Best so far is a meyer lemon and one of the mandarin sweeties in a barrel. Promisingly they have several small green fruit on them. I expect we will be inundated with citrus in 5 years time and my name may be cursed for planting them all, but as yet they are all a little shy despite regular feeding, mulching, watering.
  • Pears – we have one Seckle – self fertile  but it was the last tree planted in the orchard so will give a bit more time yet before expecting it to work harder for its keep.

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