More fruit trees

I called in to the local nursery yesterday intending to buy another persimmon and came home with the persimmon and a Blueberry and a Cox’s Orange Pippin apple.

I wanted another persimmon because the existing one (Nightingale variety)  has done so well and I believe you should always have more than one of a Good Thing. I was lucky to get the last one in stock and guess what…it was a Nightingale! I’ll plant it near it’s namesake  and hope they’ll be happy together.

The blueberry wasn’t a named variety, but it will go into a large pot on the deck alongside the one I’ve had there for a couple of years already. It produced a couple of cups of blueberries last year (its second) and being right up against the house wall, wasn’t bothered at all by birds trying to pinch the berries.

Cox’s Orange Pippin is supposed to be the benchmark for flavour in apples. I was told by an Englishwoman years ago that it was the only apple worth eating. It needs a Granny Smith as a pollinator so it will go down in the food forest as close to Granny as I can find a spot. It’s supposed to be best in a cool temperate climate, so fingers crossed it’ll be OK here  (it should be happy with the freezing weather we’re having at the moment). I’ll take some cuttings when I prune it back after planting.

(I just looked at the Ozgrow garden forum and one of the members, who lives a few kms south of  me, says that she has had a Cox’s Orange Pippin for 20 years in her garden, doing well. So that’s OK then).

The Girls still aren’t laying. They finished moulting ages ago and look rather smart in their new outfits. They’re eating well and seem to be coping with their first winter. I think they would be a year old by now. They were 12 weeks old when I got them, at the end of last September, and started laying just before Christmas. They stopped laying in early March, so I’ve been eggless for four months. I expect they’ll pick up as the days start to lengthen in late winter/early spring.

(Hey, the ground’s tilting. Nah, she’s pointing that thing at us again. She can’t even hold it straight. What a klutz!):

OK, well here’s a nice straight view of my little lime tree. It’s about a metre and a half tall and wide. I’m really pleased with the way it’s come on in the last couple of years. The ripe limes are starting to fall now, so I’m crystallising them and drying them in the dehydrator:

I thought I’d have go at growing linseed again. It’s been successful in the past, but then I don’t get my act together in time to protect the seed from the parrots and they get most of it. This year it’ll be different (where have I heard that before?). I broadcast the seed in one of my wire veggie rings. Each plant is a single stem with a cluster of blue star-flowers at the top. Sometimes there’ll be a few white flowers amongst them. The shiny brown seed forms in a head the size of a pea:

A few extra photos of non-food plants in the garden. This is a pretty, low-growing Grevillea. I don’t know the species:

Silver Banksia, a species indigenous to this area:

I love the moss that covers the ground at this time of year, and the little orange fungi that come up in it:

6 Responses to “More fruit trees”

  1. narf77 Says:

    What a lovely post and I am feeling a camaraderie with you at the moment as we actually had -9.2C the other morning! Guess who stayed in bed (bollocks to the rss feed reader!)… I love reading about your edible food forest and your fruit trees, veggies and especially your forrays into weird and wonderful seeds etc. Have you grown quinoa or amaranth? Both are apparently delicious for chooks as well as humans and chia is apparently a very waterwise plant. My chooks are still laying. No idea why but they are totally free range and only go in at night time to prevent them being guzzled by quolls (who needs foxes when you have blood draining quolls to roam the neighbourhood all night…). Thank you again for a most entertaining post 🙂


    • foodnstuff Says:

      Hi narf, did you really mean minus 9.2 C? That is ultra-cold!!! I would have stayed in bed too, or else moved to Qld.

      I haven’t grown quinoa, but amaranth does well here. I didn’t think of giving it to the chooks as they have so much other greens. They would probably like the little seeds too.

      I think I’d rather have quolls than foxes…at least they’re native.


      • narf77 Says:

        Yeh…quolls are a cat substitute as well. Yes I DID mean minus 9.2C and it was really REALLY cold lol. Have you thought about chia? It’s apparently really drought tolerant and it would be interesting to read about your amaranth. These grains are very underutilised and people just don’t think that it’s possible to grow them themselves.


  2. Sarah Backholer Says:

    Hi! How do you go growing persimmon? Does it need to be in a warm spot? I came across a ‘Black sapote’ fruit tree (which is otherwise known as Chocolate Pudding fruit – looks amazing!) and it’s related to the persimmon, but growing info I’ve found says that it is very tender to frost and needs a tropical-ish micro climate. Is your persimmon the same?

    Just stumbled across your blog today – I’m a 20-something year old mum of 1, who also lives in Melbourne’s south east, with similar goals for self sufficiency and more sustainable living! Are you linked in with a Transition Towns group in your area?

    Thanks 🙂


    • foodnstuff Says:

      Hi Sarah, thanks for getting in touch. Persimmon seems to be OK here. Mine is planted in a spot that gets afternoon sun. If you go back a few posts in the blog you’ll see where I wrote about it.

      I have a white sapote that has been an abject failure. It grows new leaves at the top and drops the old leaves at the bottom (faster). I tip-prune it but it doesn’t make any difference. It has a spindly trunk and doesn’t even look like flowering and fruiting, yet the one I saw in a Caulfield garden years ago, was a huge tree with a carpet of fallen fruit around it.

      As far as I know there’s no Transition Towns group in this area but I would love to be involved with one. There don’t seem to be all that many in Australia, although I believe they’ve taken off in NZ.


  3. Chris Says:

    Lovely natives. And the girls should start laying again, as the days are getting longer. Well, hopefully they will. 🙂


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