The MGS Forum

Plants for mediterranean gardens => Fruit and Vegetables => Topic started by: John J on September 17, 2015, 05:37:49 AM

Title: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: John J on September 17, 2015, 05:37:49 AM
My wife recently suggested that perhaps a thread dedicated to the various fruit and veg that are grown by members would be something to consider. I realise that previous threads have mentioned several of these already but perhaps it would not be a bad idea to resurrect some of them and for members to perhaps tell us about ones that they grow.
I went around our property yesterday and took a few photos of what is being produced at this time of year. I'll start the ball rolling with our Mango. This was grown from a stone brought to us by a friend from UK when she came for a visit several years ago. She is originally from Jamaica and had been given the fruit by a relative who had visited her from there. She ate the fruit and brought me the stone! The tree took around 8 years from germination to first fruiting, producing just 2 fruit at the first attempt. Since then it has averaged around 20 fruit per year, until this year when it has again set only 2. We can only put this down to the fact that we had a prolonged spring this year with late rain and high winds during the period that the fruit normally set.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Mango
Post by: Joanna Savage on September 17, 2015, 05:55:18 AM
John, that is an excellent idea to be talking about fruit and veggies. Re. Your mango, does it have a good flavour? It looks as though it would be delicious. I ask because, when I was living in the subtropics, seedling mangoes were not highly regarded and it was barely worth the trouble of growing them because of the 'turpentine' taste of the fruit. If  mangoes are cross pollinated perhaps the chances of getting a good one are much better in Jamaica than in southern Queensland.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: John J on September 17, 2015, 08:34:48 AM
Joanna, when the mango first germinated and began to grow I looked up all the info I could find about growing them from stones. The general consensus of opinion seemed to be that they took at least 8 years to reach fruiting size and that even then the fruit would be very stringy and taste of turpentine, just as you mention. Well, when the tree was 2 years old it suddenly went dormant, literally went into suspended animation. For the next 2 years it did nothing, didn't die and didn't put on any new growth. Then, suddenly it burst back into life and at around 8 years old it set 2 fruit. We watched these grow larger and begin to change colour, hardly daring to breathe in their vicinity, until one day I grew impatient and touched one of them. It came away in my hand. My wife and I then sat and stared at it for some little time before eventually taking the bull by the horns and tasting it. I must admit that it was rather stringy but I wouldn't describe the taste as turpentine. It may not have been the best mango I've tasted but I'd certainly say it was passable. The rest have been of similar quality.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Psidium cattleianum
Post by: John J on September 18, 2015, 04:59:33 AM
Thought we'd have something a little different today, Psidium cattleianum (Strawberry guava). Grown from seed it has made a small bush that produces bunches of marble-sized fruit that turn red when ripe. I find the taste a tad tart but with a possible hint of strawberry.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Marrow
Post by: John J on September 19, 2015, 05:04:15 AM
Turn of the veggies. It may not win many beauty contests but it's a fair size.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: Alisdair on September 19, 2015, 08:26:28 AM
Crikey, John, what a whopper! Is it a particular cultivar?
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: John J on September 19, 2015, 09:57:44 AM
Alisdair, I have no idea of its provenance but they are common here in Cyprus where they are known as 'glykokoloko' (sweet marrows). When young and small they are cooked with fresh black-eyed peas and oil. When left to get this size they are used to make 'kolokotes', a sort of sweet pasty. Chunks of marrow, bulghar wheat, raisins, salt and pepper to taste and a touch of sugar, wrapped in pastry and baked in the oven. As they are vegan they are popular during the winter fasting periods, especially.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: David Dickinson on September 19, 2015, 10:36:07 AM
Thanks for the recipe idea John. Always on the lookout for vegan ideas  :)
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Fresh & Free
Post by: Alisdair on September 19, 2015, 11:05:15 AM
Quite a coincidence that today's veg is that marrow. Each Saturday when Helena and I are in UK and we have a glut in our veg patch, with our neighbour Laurie down the lane we set up a stall for anyone to take what they want, for free. Today's crop is a bit "mediterranean", as besides the marrows/courgettes (and the flowers) there's not just spinach, Swiss chard, corn on the cob and parsley, there's basil, aubergines/egg plants, peppers and even melons.
(One day when we've more time we'd like to try expanding the idea among all those other people who might have surplus produce, with a "freshandfree" website where anyone could put in their post code and a map would come up with their closest Fresh & Free stall...)
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: John J on September 19, 2015, 04:46:51 PM
I'm not sure that your scheme would work here, Alisdair, but then again there has long been a tradition of friends, relatives and neighbours sharing their excess produce. One of the most popular items that we get requests for is below.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Squash
Post by: John J on September 20, 2015, 04:32:42 AM
Staying with veg we have Butternut squash, or Cucurbita moschata to give it its correct name I believe.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Bergamot
Post by: John J on September 21, 2015, 05:04:35 AM
Today's fruit is Citrus bergamia the oil of which is used to flavour Earl Grey tea. The ones in the photo are not yet ripe of course.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Zizifkia
Post by: John J on September 22, 2015, 04:34:20 AM
Not many people, myself included, would normally list Eleagnus angustifolia as a fruit, however, here in Cyprus it has its followers. The same size and shape as an olive, peeling off the brown skin reveals a large stone surrounded by flesh that has the look and texture of cotton wool. Obviously it's an acquired taste that I, frankly, have never acquired.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Limequat
Post by: John J on September 23, 2015, 04:58:37 AM
A rather unusual citrus, the limequat is a hybrid between key lime and kumquat.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: David Dickinson on September 23, 2015, 08:15:01 AM
Hi John

Is the limequat used for anything? I have friends who make a good marmalade from kumquat. I say "good" in that it comes out as good as Italian style orange marmalade but I have to say that to my taste Italian marmalades are a bit too sweet. In my experience Italian jams, on the other hand, tend not to be. All a matter of taste, I suppose.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: John J on September 23, 2015, 09:11:53 AM
David, I have to confess to not having a lot of personal experience of this fruit, we only acquired our tree last year. Apparently they stay quite small and so are suitable for growing in containers. Info says they are more cold hardy than limes, down to around 10*C. We have found the taste to be similar to lime, a sort of bitter-sweet, acidic taste. It seems they are suitable for making marmalade or for juicing.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Arbutus unedo
Post by: Joanna Savage on September 23, 2015, 05:02:31 PM
This is a much colder garden in Toscana than John J's delicious looking fruit orchard in Cyprus. However, here is an Arbutus unedo just beginning to redden and looking fat after good rain. They look better than they taste.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg/Herbs of the day - "Greek basil"
Post by: Joanna Savage on September 23, 2015, 05:06:21 PM
And here is a pot of so-called (by the nursery)  Greek Basil, ready to be cut and dried in a cool place for winter pasta dishes.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Medlar
Post by: John J on September 24, 2015, 05:04:05 AM
Joanna, thanks for those and for reminding us that herbs deserve to be included in this category too.
Our Mespilus germanica is grown more for its ornamental value than for its fruit. These need to be subjected to a period of cold, even frost, before becoming softened/ripe enough to eat, a process known as bletting. This can be done artificially by storing them in the fridge for a while but we've never found it to be worth the effort.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day (limequats)
Post by: Caroline on September 24, 2015, 06:58:06 AM
I have a whole hedge of limequats across the end of the veggie garden, put in to provide a screen.  They have been in about 4 years, and are now cropping really well. In response to David's question about using them,  I make a good sour marmalade and recently tried a hot chutney which is delicious.  More generally, I substitute the juice for either lime or lemon juice (a mexican lime squeezer helps as they are very "pippy").
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Myrtle
Post by: John J on September 25, 2015, 04:48:47 AM
The myrtle is one of the plants that is associated with Aphrodite, she who was born of the sea off Paphos. When she emerged from the waves she hid her nakedness behind a myrtle bush.
Providing bowls of myrtle berries on a dining table so that the diners could chew them in order to freshen their mouths and taste buds between courses is another of those traditions that has largely disappeared.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Pomegranate
Post by: John J on September 26, 2015, 08:24:54 AM
The pomegranates are ripening nicely, soon be ready.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: John J on September 26, 2015, 02:41:46 PM
In fact one variety is ready as the birds have already discovered! Anyway, we can't begrudge them a few as there should still be plenty left for us.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: Joanna Savage on September 26, 2015, 06:03:44 PM
John, how do you eat your pomegranates? I was intrigued by the idea of pomegranate juice when I was in Iran. It crops up in many dishes.How on earth does one  extract juice from a pomegranate?
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: John J on September 27, 2015, 04:52:50 AM
Hi Joanna, pomegranate juice is available commercially but my wife's sister makes her own. You need a variety that is full of juice, more flesh than pip, put the seeds into a blender/liquidiser and strain the juice.
As for eating them we usually add them to salads. For instance, mix them with rocula, sun-dried tomatoes soaked in vinegar, olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Fig
Post by: John J on September 27, 2015, 04:59:54 AM
We've been enjoying a daily ration of figs for a few weeks too. ;)
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: Fermi on September 27, 2015, 11:39:06 AM
Our current (newly minted) Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, was on a program a year or two ago called "Kitchen Cabinet" and revealed the secret of peeling the pomegranates into a bowl of water, the fleshy pips sink and the inedible pith floats.
Who knows where his wisdom will lead our country :-\
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: Alice on September 27, 2015, 06:55:02 PM
John, how do you eat your pomegranates? I was intrigued by the idea of pomegranate juice when I was in Iran. It crops up in many dishes.How on earth does one  extract juice from a pomegranate?
Joanna, to get the juice I treat them like lemons. Cut in half and extract the juice using a manual or electric juicer.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Grapes
Post by: John J on September 28, 2015, 05:05:09 AM
We don't have many vines and I have no idea what the variety is but they provide us with a few bunches of small, sweet fruit every year.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: SusanIbiza on September 28, 2015, 08:59:46 AM
We cut the pomegranate in half crosswise, then whack the outside smartly with a wooden spoon (kept your fingers out of the way).  Do this over a bowl so that you don't waste any of the juice.  The seeds are delicious in salads and as a finish to cous cous and many Mediterranean dishes.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Olive
Post by: John J on September 29, 2015, 04:45:21 AM
Olive picking time is approaching once more. In our village it is traditional not to begin picking until after the Festival of the patron saint, in this case St Luke the Apostle, whose name day is 18 October. So that's a job that will be waiting for us when we return from this year's MGS AGM on the island of Ischia, Italy.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Acca
Post by: John J on September 30, 2015, 04:39:52 AM
Back to something a little more out of the ordinary, Acca sellowiana (Pineapple guava). Not an ideal fruit for us to grow as we cannot offer it the best conditions. It needs more water than we can give it for the fruit to swell and a period of colder weather than we experience for them to ripen properly. However the stunning flowers are a bonus well worth having.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Pecan
Post by: John J on October 01, 2015, 04:32:23 AM
Not ready yet but it won't be too long before they begin to split open. I believe the one we have is a variety known as Mohawk.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Avocado
Post by: John J on October 02, 2015, 04:56:45 AM
Apologies for the quality of the photo. The tree was grown from a stone and rarely produces fruit but has become so large that it provides some quite substantial shade, so much so that I've made a small seating area under it.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Sideritis
Post by: John J on October 03, 2015, 07:28:17 AM
OK! I admit it, I'm stretching the boundaries here. This is Sideritis perfoliata traditionally used here, and I believe in Crete, to make 'mountain tea'.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Sugar cane
Post by: John J on October 04, 2015, 06:16:32 AM
This is my current, rather pathetic, specimen of Saccharum officinarum. Since coming here to live permanently we have tried to keep a sugar cane plant growing as a reminder of part of the history of the village. Sugar cane was brought to Cyprus from the Holy Land by the crusaders. Our village (Kolossi) was the headquarters of the Commanderie of Kolossi created by the Knights of St John of Jerusalem (Knights Hospitallers). Vast areas of the surrounding land was given over to growing sugar cane and in the 13th century a Mill and Factory was built to process the sugar ready for shipping to northern Europe. The second photo shows the mill with the top of the later Castle (built 1454).
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Lemon grass
Post by: John J on October 05, 2015, 09:34:40 AM
Another sorry-looking specimen I'm afraid. This time of Cymbopogon citratus. They don't seem to do too well with us, probably not getting enough water.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Guava
Post by: John J on October 06, 2015, 07:27:25 AM
Back to the more conventional fruit. A tree that appeals to 3, possibly 4, of the 5 senses. It's aesthetically pleasing with attractive bark and beautiful flowers. The ripe fruit smell as good as they taste. As for the 4th sense, the feel of the smooth, fresh bark is not unpleasant.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Persimmon
Post by: JTh on October 06, 2015, 08:52:44 AM
My neighbours have left, but they have a persimmon tree with ripe fruit, I didn't very feel guilty when I tasted a couple of them, they were very sweet.

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5822/21683172249_66e0a2d92b_n.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/z34VFp)
P9300334 Persimmon-Diospyros kaki .jpg (https://flic.kr/p/z34VFp) by Jorun Tharaldsen (https://www.flickr.com/photos/46063510@N03/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Herbal twosome
Post by: John J on October 07, 2015, 04:56:12 AM
Pots of Mint and Chives close to the kitchen door area.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Malabar spinach
Post by: John J on October 08, 2015, 04:52:38 AM
Ok, going out on a limb again!   
Basella rubra can apparently be used very much like conventional spinach. It can be eaten raw in salads but is more often steamed or used in soups, stews, stir-fries, etc. I have to admit that we have not tried it as yet but my wife has declared that one day it's going into a stir-fry, so watch this space! :P
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Ginger
Post by: John J on October 09, 2015, 05:15:49 AM
Ginger, easy to grow and great used fresh.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Lemon
Post by: John J on October 10, 2015, 09:38:02 AM
Just because they're pretty common is no excuse to ignore this or any other of the citrus. :D
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Bitter orange
Post by: John J on October 11, 2015, 02:33:47 PM
We don't use the fruit but keep the tree for springtime scent and because my wife's late mother used to collect the flowers to make 'glyko'.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day -Loquat
Post by: Caroline on October 12, 2015, 12:18:57 AM
This loquat Eriobotrya japonica sprang up uninvited not far from the house.  I have never tried the fruit, and don't plan to unless someone can persuade me that I am really missing out on a treat.  The wood pigeons gorge themselves at a time when there isn't much else for them to eat, and I figure their need is greater than mine :)
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - loquat
Post by: John J on October 12, 2015, 09:53:02 AM
I have to admit Caroline that your fruit do look a little less than appetizing. :-X
I tend to eat ours straight from the tree. Suck the flesh out from the skin and spit out the stones. Sorry, sounds a bit disgusting put like that! :-[
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Sage
Post by: John J on October 12, 2015, 09:55:35 AM
In addition to its more common uses here in Cyprus they make a tea from it.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Lemon Balm
Post by: John J on October 13, 2015, 04:40:08 AM
Our patches of it suffer in the heat of the summer but spread when the cooler weather comes. We don't use it for anything other than as a pleasantly scented ground cover.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: John J on October 13, 2015, 06:42:08 AM
I have to make a correction to the above post, having been reprimanded by my wife. :-[ She does use lemon balm on occasion along with lemon verbena to make a tea that is refreshing when drunk cold.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - loquat
Post by: Fleur Pavlidis on October 13, 2015, 08:49:36 AM
You are really missing out on a treat!! You can pick them slightly under ripe and leave them to ripen in the fruit bowl, although straight from the tree is best if the birds allow it. My two trees grown from seed form a selected tree have been hit by a nasty disease and the fruit each year blackens and shrivels. I'm bereft.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Rue
Post by: John J on October 15, 2015, 04:46:08 AM
Oops! Seem to have skipped a day on this, can only put it down to external pressures.  :-[
A bit of a cheat on this one as I can guarantee we don't use it for anything but maybe other members do.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Lemon verbena
Post by: John J on October 16, 2015, 08:45:22 AM
Aloysia triphylla (syn. Aloysia citrodora) is the other ingredient, along with Lemon Balm, of a refreshing cold tea, as mentioned in a previous post.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Mandarin
Post by: John J on October 17, 2015, 05:24:07 AM
Back to citrus. Our mandarins are not yet ripe of course, 4 year old granddaughter likes to pick them and eat them straight from the tree when they are. I don't use sprays of any description so this is quite safe.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Quince (Cydonia oblonga)
Post by: JTh on October 17, 2015, 10:04:43 PM
The quince is ripe here now,  beatiful to look at, but needs some preparations before it is edible.

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/681/22062458412_3f01814960_n.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/zBzSf1)
PA100769-Edit Cydonia oblonga.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/zBzSf1) by Jorun Tharaldsen (https://www.flickr.com/photos/46063510@N03/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/622/21452087144_4fcf261a2e_n.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/yFDy8s)
PA100770 Cydonia oblonga.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/yFDy8s) by Jorun Tharaldsen (https://www.flickr.com/photos/46063510@N03/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: John J on October 18, 2015, 04:56:10 AM
Jorun, thanks for that 'lead in'. Oct 18th is the day of the patron saint of our village (Apostle Luke) and from 2 days prior the streets are filled with the stalls of the vendors of an assortment of produce and products. One of the traditional purchases of the housewives and cooks was quince from which they made 'glyko' and 'marmalada'. This year we had already received a large bag of them from a friend who lives in a village further up the mountain. After being used to make the 'glyko' seen below the remainder of the fruit were wrapped in silver foil and cooked in the oven before being skinned and de-pipped. The flesh was then used together with mountain apples, known as 'kathista', and made into apple crumble. Some of which is still in our freezer.  :D
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Bλήτα - Amaranthus viridis
Post by: JTh on October 19, 2015, 02:50:54 PM
Not just a weed, but a valuable 'horta', which can be used like spinach. It is now back again, ready to be harvested. And it's free.

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5627/22169197746_090471d96a_n.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/zM1W8m)
PA151075 βλήτα - Amaranthus viridis .jpg (https://flic.kr/p/zM1W8m) by Jorun Tharaldsen (https://www.flickr.com/photos/46063510@N03/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: Charithea on October 20, 2015, 05:30:04 AM
Hello Jorun, I always order 'Horta' when visiting Greece. I first ate 'Amaranthus veridis' in Heraklion Market in Crete and being fond of 'grass' continued to eat it when available. It grows also here in Cyprus but it is never offered on the menu. It is available in some supermarkets but it does not have the same demand as in Greece. I think it is because it has not got the exciting look for instance of asparagus.
Title: Fruit/Veg of the day - Basil
Post by: David Dickinson on October 23, 2015, 08:34:04 AM
Is Basil veg? Mine is coming to the end of its season in this unusually cold spell in Rome :'( I hope that the seeds I have taken from this plant will produce plants with stems as deep purple as this one. Fingers crossed.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Sweet chestnuts
Post by: John J on October 30, 2015, 06:33:17 AM
Not mine but in the garden of a friend near Rome who we visited on the way back from the AGM in Ischia.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Laurus nobilis
Post by: John J on November 14, 2015, 01:45:23 PM
Sometimes things are just so obvious that you miss them, like our Bay tree. :-[
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Rosemary
Post by: John J on November 15, 2015, 05:51:11 AM
......and how could I possibly miss the Rosemary ???
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Loquat
Post by: John J on November 16, 2015, 05:41:58 AM
We return to the loquat as ours are coming into flower now. Even if you don't eat the fruit you can still enjoy the scent of the blossom.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: Fleur Pavlidis on November 16, 2015, 08:30:17 AM
Absolutely overpowering from our two trees, like a room full of soap bars.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Parsley
Post by: John J on November 17, 2015, 05:49:49 AM
Spreads prolifically, puts down very long, tough roots. Acts as a host for the caterpillars of the Swallowtail butterfly in addition to its normal duties in providing greenery for domestic use.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Tagetes lucida
Post by: John J on November 18, 2015, 05:49:14 AM
Tarragon, attractive flowers as well as being a useful herb.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: JTh on November 18, 2015, 11:55:55 AM
That does not look French tarragon, Artemisia dracunculus, isn't it Mexican tarragon, Tagetes lucida?
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: John J on November 18, 2015, 03:35:13 PM
I may be wrong, Jorun, but I'll stick with Artemesia, at least until I've had a chance to investigate it further.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: Caroline on November 19, 2015, 08:17:09 AM
I think Jorun is correct, John, in identifying your plant as Tagetes lucida, which does have yellow edible flowers and can be propagated by seed.  French tarragon -Artemisia dracunculus- doesn't set seed (indeed I have never seen even the hint of a flower) and has to be propagated vegetatively.

Mexican tarragon is supposed to survive better in hot conditions and have a stronger flavour than the French stuff.  I once mistakenly grew Russian tarragon -A. dracunculus ssp dracunculoides - which is much more vigorous than the French version and got totally out of control.  Some sort of moral for our times there, maybe...
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: John J on November 19, 2015, 08:35:47 AM
I've obviously been guilty of believing what I read on the Internet, having found several photos of a plant similar to mine that were labelled as Artemesia dracunculus, without looking more closely into it. Having now done so I see that it is indeed Tagetes lucida. So, thanks, Jorun, for putting me right on this, and Caroline, for your insightful input, on all levels.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: JTh on November 19, 2015, 05:17:37 PM
Which shows you can't always trust the internet, John.

I have both the Russian and the French variety of tarragon in my garden in Oslo, the first one is much taller and more vigorous, but it isn't too difficult to keep it under control. When it is fresh, the taste of the Russian tarragon is OK, but there is no flavour when it is dried. The flowers are inconspicious, and does produce seeds, while the French variety is totally sterile, I have never seen any flowers, but it is easily propagated by divison.

It would be interesting to try to grow the Mexican tarragon in Greece, I have never seen or tasted this one. We have just prepared a small vegetable patch which is ready to be planted next spring. Did you grow it from seeds?
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: John J on November 20, 2015, 05:46:23 AM
I don't see any reason why you shouldn't, Jorun, ours is in full sun for much of the day. We didn't grow them from seed but got them from a local 'garden centre'. I'll try to find out how they got them, but you know how it can be getting useful info out of some of these places. If I find anything helpful I'll let you know.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: JTh on November 20, 2015, 02:46:38 PM
Thank you, John
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Sweet potato
Post by: John J on November 23, 2015, 10:49:18 AM
We've tried growing Ipomoae batatas several times and had lots of foliage but this is the first time that one has flowered.
The second photo shows the foliage of another variety that I believe is known as 'Blackie'. This produces lots of foliage each year but has yet to flower.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: Joanna Savage on November 24, 2015, 06:15:05 AM
John J, do you cook and eat the tubers of the sweet potato?
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: John J on November 24, 2015, 11:22:56 AM
Actually, Joanna, we don't grow enough of them to produce a viable crop. We use them for ornamental purposes, mostly in pots, and really to see what the flowers look like. We've eventually found out about one of them, now for the dark leaved one, which is actually much darker than it appears in the photo. Maybe one day we'll plant some in the ground, give them adequate water and see if we can get enough to make at least one serving!
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: John J on November 24, 2015, 11:28:22 AM
Jorun, I've been to one of the more reliable garden centres and found that he gets his Mexican tarragon from a supplier here in Cyprus. He can get me some, probably by next spring, but then we have the problem of getting them to you! I go to Athens every 3 months or so but that's still a long way from where you are, both in Norway or Halkidiki.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: JTh on November 24, 2015, 11:58:56 AM
Thank you, John, you are right, Athens is a long way from Halkidiki. If this is available in Cyprus, I would guess it may be found in Greece as well, so maybe I should try to find it there first. We are coming back to Greece in the spring, I'll ask the owner of our local garden center if he can get it, he is very interested in drought-tolerant plants. I see there is a company in the US that sells seeds, might be worth trying.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: JTh on November 24, 2015, 12:10:13 PM
I actually see that the Swedish company Impecta sells seeds of Tagetes lucida as well, I buy most of my seeds from them, they have an enourmous selection of seeds from all over the world. I'll try that, it seems as if this plant is easily grown from seed.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: John J on November 24, 2015, 01:44:30 PM
I forgot to mention that we spotted some actual French tarragon while we were there and picked up a couple so that we can compare their drought tolerant potential with that of the Mexican one.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Thyme
Post by: John J on November 28, 2015, 12:01:39 PM
One of the many varieties of thyme. This one is Thymus citriodorus 'Variegata'.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Globe artichoke
Post by: John J on December 03, 2015, 08:22:01 AM
Beginning to appear along our western boundary hedge.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Cape gooseberry
Post by: John J on December 05, 2015, 05:45:37 AM
Physalis peruviana, only a small plant but doing quite well so far. The seeds came from the MGS garden Sparoza.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Miracle tree
Post by: John J on December 16, 2015, 08:12:16 PM
I'm stretching the boundaries here with this tree. It isn't one that I recall encountering before. This morning I paid a visit to the home of someone who has introduced a growing method that I believe is new to the island, it's certainly new to me. Actually I was carrying out a recce prior to planning a Branch visit. I won't go into detail as I am hoping to write an article for the MGS Journal about this so MGS members at least will be appraised of the subject. While the owner and I were walking around the property he pointed out some small trees and encouraged me to try the flowers and leaves. This was the so-called Miracle tree (Moringa oleifera). Apparently it has been given the common name due to the nutritional value of almost all of its parts, especially the leaves it seems. Having looked it up on the Internet it would indeed appear to live up to the name, if all that has been written about it is factual. There is far too much info for me to list it here and I leave it to readers of the Forum to investigate it for themselves and make their own judgements. I was very generously offered a seed pod, which I accepted, and intend to attempt to grow a 'Miracle tree' of my own. I'll keep you posted of developments.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: Fermi on December 20, 2015, 12:31:07 AM
Hi John,
your pics reminded me of what my dad grew in India and Hong Kong as "Drumstick Tree"and I see that Mr Google gives it the same botanical name.
I must see if it is available here,
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: John J on December 20, 2015, 06:11:34 AM
Hi Fermi,
I saw the same common name for this tree when I was looking it up. I don't recall ever coming across it in Singapore. The guy I got the pod from says he grows them quite easily from seed and I'll be going back to see him in the New Year but I don't suppose your strict Aussie rules will allow the importing of seeds by post or I could maybe send you some?
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Avocado
Post by: John J on January 18, 2016, 11:30:40 AM
I wasn't sure whether or not to post this on wildlife in the garden as something has certainly been at it! >:(
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Almonds
Post by: John J on February 20, 2016, 05:21:35 PM
Almond blossom time again though sadly the tree is not ours but is in a field at the edge of the village.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Limoncello
Post by: John J on February 25, 2016, 12:06:46 PM
OK, I know Limoncello is not a fruit but is the product of one of our most prolific fruit trees, the lemon. My wife produced the ones shown using the recipe provided by MGS member, Helene Pizzi, and reproduced on the MGS website by our web editor, thanks Fleur.  :)
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: Fleur Pavlidis on February 25, 2016, 03:41:59 PM
All your recipes for your garden (or hedgerow) produce would be very welcome for this website page www.mediterraneangardensociety.org/fruitandveg.html (http://www.mediterraneangardensociety.org/fruitandveg.html). Thea has added her own crumble recipe using the giant marrow pictured above.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day -tomatillo or Mexican green tomato
Post by: Caroline on March 05, 2016, 08:51:04 AM
Someone was asking what to do with Mexican green tomatoes (Physalis), apart from making fresh salsa - sorry I can't find the thread.   It's also possible to make a cooked salsa (green tomatoes, garlic, onion and chili), whizzed up in a blender/processor then cooked briefly in a small fry pan with a little oil. Delicious on top of bread, cheese and avocado, put under the grill, or as a sauce in tacos with shredded meat.  I imagine it would freeze well (never had enough left over to try!).
 :)
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: John J on October 10, 2016, 08:25:37 AM
Not a bad crop on our Medlar tree this year despite the lack of winter rain.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: Fermi on November 03, 2016, 12:50:22 PM
We've never had much luck with cauliflowers but this year decided to try one of the purple varieties with our first decent cauliflower ever!
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: John J on June 03, 2017, 01:12:58 PM
Some time ago I posted a photo of Sideritis perfoliata growing in our garden. Here in Cyprus we have an endemic Ironwort, Sideritis cypria that grows in a very few locations in the Pentadaktylos mountain range in the north of the island. It is listed in the Red Data Book as Endangered. Today I was fortunate enough to see one for the first time in the garden of a friend. The general difference between the two plants is quite striking.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: Joanna Savage on June 04, 2017, 05:23:05 AM
Hello John, there are three species of Sideritis on this garden, cypria, phlomoides and syriaca. All plants came from Gerard Weiner, pepiniere Vaugines at Lucca Murabilia 2016. So far all seem to be flowering well so I could send seed to you in due course if you would like it. They are now growing in a pot with sharp drainage and plenty of sun as I lost a previous S. cypria in winter. It is one of my favourite grey leaved plants.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: John J on June 04, 2017, 07:34:08 AM
Joanna that would be fantastic and very generous. If you could let me know when you have any seeds ready I'll send an email with my address. Thank you.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: John J on June 15, 2017, 06:52:07 AM
Not a single fruit of the day but the result of my wife's early morning walk around the garden.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: David Dickinson on June 15, 2017, 10:20:19 AM
Lucky you. Last year the plum tree was full of fruit - most of which was eaten by Monk Parakeets - but this year frost killed all the flowers and I have not even one plum. The lemons too suffered. Many of them have mushy areas in them which are brown. Also due to frost damage. On a positive note, the new lemon crop is starting to develop now.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: Fleur Pavlidis on June 26, 2017, 06:28:48 PM
David and John, can you give some advice to Sandy about apples and pears?
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: David Dickinson on June 27, 2017, 02:38:09 AM
I have just seen this today by clicking on "recent unread posts". Clicking on "unread posts" throws up nothing so there is something amiss.  In answer to your question, I am afraid that I am not much use. I inherited a garden with two lemon trees and one plum tree. Even with those I have little idea of how to prune them etc. I have no knowledge of either apple or pear trees I'm afraid  :)
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: John J on June 27, 2017, 05:05:10 AM
Fleur, I assume you are referring to Sandy who posted on 'Apple tree woes'? Personally I would not even attempt to grow pears here as we can experience temps as high as 40 degrees in summer. I mentioned on the above post that we do grow a variety of apple that has a proven record of surviving these conditions. Once picked the fruit does not keep well and needs to be used within a reasonable period of time, so they are generally used for cooking rather than as conventional eating apples.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: Fermi on January 28, 2018, 03:25:05 PM
Not quite "fruit of the day" but the promise of things to come - hopefully!
Watermelon 'Sugar Baby' is starting to set fruit,
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: Fermi on February 10, 2018, 05:40:20 AM
Two weeks later and we have harvested our first 'Sugar Baby' watermelon - but the one in the pic above is a smaller variety called 'Golden Midget'!
Here's a pic comparing the two
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: Fermi on March 06, 2018, 03:57:13 PM
We bought a chilie plant from an Italian couple at a local market earlier in the season and it is now in fruit.
A friend tasted one when it was yellow and said it was very hot. We're not game to try them now that they've gone red :P
Not sure what it is exactly as it's not one I've grown before.
Anybody got an idea?
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: Caroline on March 06, 2018, 09:53:13 PM
Nearly four years living in Mexico gave me an interest in the different varieties of chili.  I have just tried to find the booklet I had which was very comprehensive, but it looks as if I threw it out in a fit of decluttering.  However I still have two posters on the kitchen wall and your photos Fermi most closely match "Scotch bonnet", which is ranked at 9 to 10 on the "heat" scale, which goes from 1 to 10.   If that's what it is then I would regard your plant as purely ornamental!
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: Fermi on March 07, 2018, 10:36:57 AM
Thanks, Caroline,
Just as well they look pretty ;D
This year we didn't need to plant Cucumbers as they came up from the compost!
We've just picked the first cuke from the 3rd bed in which they've germinated!
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: John J on September 01, 2018, 09:41:41 AM
This year we thought we would experiment with growing sweet potatoes. I dug these up this morning.
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: Alisdair on September 23, 2018, 07:54:24 AM
Very impressive! (wish I liked the taste as much as "real" potatoes)
Title: Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
Post by: Caroline on September 23, 2018, 10:36:06 PM
The trick is not to think of them as potatoes, which I suspect is how they are treated in the UK.  I like kumara (i.e. sweet potatoes)  in a 50/50 mash with potato and lots of garlic, around a roast of lamb, or BBQed.  For the latter, boil in their skins, then cut into slices and char-grill with a little olive oil.  Delicious.