Winter fruits & a new food

I’m picking 3 useful winter fruits at the moment. I’ve already written (at length) about persimmons and tamarillo, but the new one for me this year is Cherry (or Strawberry) Guava (Psidium littorale). In The Complete Book of Fruit Growing in Australia, Louis Glowinski says, “this claret-red cherry-like morsel is the best of the guavas”.

The fruits are rich in Vitamin C (more than oranges) and, says Glowinski, more than most Vitamin C tablets.

I have 3 plants grown from seed taken from a bag of fruit given to me some years ago. They germinated readily, but grew very slowly. It’s been a long wait for the first crop.

I’ve picked all the persimmons (they will continue to ripen inside) and the tamarillos and the first of the guavas. There are plenty of green ones still to ripen.

The tamarillos are half their normal size because the plants were stressed over summer and didn’t get enough water to swell the fruits. I’ve planted more plants nearer to the water tank and will keep the water up to them this summer. They’re short-lived anyway, so I plant a few new ones each year. I can’t recommend them highly enough as an easy-to-propagate and grow plant, with a beautiful rich-flavoured centre (the skins aren’t eaten). They’re not readily available to buy and are expensive when they are (last year Coles had them for $1.75 each…I picked 100 that year!). And another bonus is that they usually flower and fruit in their second year of growth.

The Cherry Guavas will be interesting—I’m in the process of collecting recipes for guava jam and jelly.

The ‘new food’ is my first batch of kimchi; a result of buying Sandor Katz’s fermentation book:

I’ve used Wom Bok chinese cabbage, with some kale to provide the darker greens. There’s also grated carrot, red capsicum, onion, garlic and grated ginger, with caraway seeds because I love the flavour they impart to cabbagey meals.

I’ve packed the vegetables into a wide-mouthed jar and weighted them down with a smaller jar of water on top:

I’m looking forward to my first taste!

4 Responses to “Winter fruits & a new food”

  1. Frogdancer Says:

    Sharyn Astyk writes about kimchi a lot. Must get onto it!


  2. narf77 Says:

    I typed out every single recipe out of the Sandor Katz book (from the library)…about time I actually used some of that 2 weeks of solid typing I think! Cheers for reminding me about the passion that I had to make kimchi and how I didn’t. Again, time to rectify that mistake (along with the sourdough starter and the sauerkraut and the kefir and the yoghurt and the vilii…sigh…) :). By the way…never seen thos little guava’s before…must see if I can get hold of some as they would do really well in our garden. I found 2 ripe tamarillos on the side of the road when we were walking the dogs this week and have them in the freezer (the seeds) at the moment and am just about to plant them…I think that I am just going to have to save up for a persimmon tree though…freebies only extend so far 😉


    • foodnstuff Says:

      Tamarillos are easy to grow from seed. The ones I planted in July last year took 60 days to germinate; the ones sown in September took only 36 days.

      Not sure how being in the freezer will affect them, though. I think they’re mainly a warm climate thing and perhaps would never see snow or freezing temps.


      • narf77 Says:

        Yeh…I know…it went against EVERYTHING that my horticultural training taught me but its a South American site that was saying that they do it and they come from there so I guess I will go with it and if it works well (pretty much guaranteed to get a very high rate of germination using this method apparently) I will do it every time…and pass it on for others to use 🙂


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