Fruit/Veg of the day

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John J

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Fruit/Veg of the day
« 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.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2015, 10:53:27 AM by Alisdair »
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

Joanna Savage

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Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Mango
« Reply #1 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.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2015, 10:54:04 AM by Alisdair »

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John J

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Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
« Reply #2 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.
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

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John J

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Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Psidium cattleianum
« Reply #3 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.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2015, 09:48:32 AM by Alisdair »
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

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John J

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Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Marrow
« Reply #4 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.
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

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Alisdair

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Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2015, 08:26:28 AM »
Crikey, John, what a whopper! Is it a particular cultivar?
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

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John J

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Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
« Reply #6 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.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2015, 10:54:38 AM by Alisdair »
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

David Dickinson

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Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2015, 10:36:07 AM »
Thanks for the recipe idea John. Always on the lookout for vegan ideas  :)
« Last Edit: September 19, 2015, 10:54:55 AM by Alisdair »
I have a small garden in Rome, Italy. Some open soil, some concrete, some paved. Temperatures in winter occasionally down to 0C. Summer temperatures up to 40C in the shade. There are never watering restrictions but, of course, there is little natural water for much of June, July and August.

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Alisdair

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Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Fresh & Free
« Reply #8 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...)
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

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John J

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Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
« Reply #9 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.
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

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John J

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Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Squash
« Reply #10 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.
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

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John J

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Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Bergamot
« Reply #11 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.
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

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John J

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Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Zizifkia
« Reply #12 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.
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

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John J

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Re: Fruit/Veg of the day - Limequat
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2015, 04:58:37 AM »
A rather unusual citrus, the limequat is a hybrid between key lime and kumquat.
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

David Dickinson

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Re: Fruit/Veg of the day
« Reply #14 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.
I have a small garden in Rome, Italy. Some open soil, some concrete, some paved. Temperatures in winter occasionally down to 0C. Summer temperatures up to 40C in the shade. There are never watering restrictions but, of course, there is little natural water for much of June, July and August.