I’m picking tamarillos at the moment. I love these tropical-tasting fruits. They’re small this year probably due to lack of water over the past couple of months, but there are plenty of them. Most of them suffered sun-scorch but the skins are thick and you don’t eat them anyway, so I really needn’t have worried that the crop would be spoilt.

To enjoy them I cut off the stem end, slice lengthwise down the middle and scoop out the centre with a teaspoon. I put the flesh into a bowl and lightly sprinkle over raw sugar then leave them in the fridge overnight and next morning have them on my breakfast mueslii. The sugar draws out a delicious syrup.

They’re supposed to be short-lived plants (mine are in their second year of fruiting) so I’m going to keep adding new ones to the garden each year. They grow easily from seed and cuttings. Seed-grown plants need to have the growing tip taken out at about a metre in height to force them into branching; cutting-grown plants will branch low to the ground.

Another bonus is that there hasn’t been any interest from the local parrots in the bright red fruit. Last year I put bags around the fruit clusters; this year I haven’t bothered. Maybe it’s because of the thick skins or the fruit is too tart for them, but I don’t think they’re even trying because there are no peck-marks evident.


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