The apple-sock tree & other things

The persimmon has finally lost all its leaves and the ripening fruits in their natty little apple socks are now obvious (but not, I hope, to the possums & parrots):

Here’s what’s under those protective covers. There are 13 of them (I hope that’s not going to be unlucky). My mouth is already watering:

Always on the lookout for new food things to grow, I came across this pot of Burdock (Arctium lappa) seedlings at a local Sunday market:

The people who grow these are regulars at the market and often have unusual plants. Their pots always seem to be crammed with seedlings. I think their technique is to fill the pot with potting mix and add a generous pinch of seed and let it all grow on.

I researched Burdock and it’s the long tap root that’s used, so I thought it might be a good idea to repot the seedlings individually so I have one plant to plant in each spot and one root to dig up at any one time. There were plenty of them and they were easy to separate. I wound up with a dozen plants in all:

At last count I had 24 wicking boxes and every one has something growing in it.

Garlic doing well:

Bok Choy, direct sown. I’ll thin these as they grow, use the thinnings as greens and let a few grow to full size:

A selection of edible greens—Red Russian Kale, Curly Kale, Lacinato Kale, Rocket, Tatsoi, Chicory, Endive and Osaka Purple Mustard. This box is on the deck, right outside the door—easy to access a handful of greens to steam for dinner:

Remember when I was looking for chickweed growing wild on the property? Well, I eventually found it and encouraged it and now it’s everywhere. Here is is in a wicking box with peas in the background. It has a lovely delicate flavour, gently steamed with butter and is also good on sandwiches. Far more nutritious than lettuce:

2 Responses to “The apple-sock tree & other things”

  1. narf7 Says:

    What a lovely post :). Its great to see people growing an amazing array of food simply without using a huge amount of space. Please keep us filled in on the burdock…it looks really interesting. Your persimons looks spectacular! There is a tree over in Beauty Point covered in them. It looks like a cross between a Chrismas tree and something out of Dr Seuss. If they don’t use their persimmons (weirdly, most people in Tasmania appear to not eat fruit…and it falls off the tree and rots) I will collect some on our walk in the mornings with the dogs and will try them out. My daughters (who live in Launceston) suruptitiously pinched a persimon from a small tree that was being watched over by a very suspicious home owner. They snuck it home…cut it open and spent the next hour trying to get the astringency out of their mouths! I guess its a bit of karma there but the silly thing was that a few weeks later, the perfectly ripe fruit was left to rot on the ground! Enjoy those precious jewels and your little tree looks gorgeous festooned with its tiny anti-possum devices 🙂


  2. foodnstuff Says:

    Oh dear, I can’t believe anyone would let persimmons fall to rot. They are beautiful. I guess if you don’t know about the astringency, you’ll make a bad mistake that will put you off them for life.

    Mine is the non-astringent variety, and can supposedly be eaten while still crunchy, but I still let them ripen till they’re soft and squishy, then scoop out the contents with a spoon. It’s like rich apricot jam.

    I knew someone who had the astringent variety and picked them once they’d coloured up, then let them sit until they were soft enough to eat. They were scattered all over her house like bright orange ornaments. She was the one who first introduced me to persimmons.


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