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In Season in May in Northern NSW

It’s citrus season here.  Lemons, limes, mandarins, grapefruit, tangelos, oranges all in such abundance even the most diligent wildlife can’t make a dent in them.  I shall be making preserved lemons this weekend – they’re one of my kitchen staples and a great gift.

The other glut is pumpkins.  The southern hemisphere Halloween is just past, and you can see where the tradition of cutting lanterns in pumpkins came from!  The bush turkeys feast on pumpkins in my garden this time of year, and they are wasteful in their harvesting.  All my pumpkins have holes pecked in them so don’t store well, and I have no good recipes for preserves featuring pumpkin.  So we just eat lots of pumpkin for a couple of months!

Otherwise, I’m still harvesting bananas and tamarillos.  My young Nashi tree is about to yield its first harvest, and the feijoa tree is bearing well.  The last of the local new season applesand pears are coming down from the Tablelands to our Farmer’s market.  People think apples are a year-round fruit but the local new season ones are the only ones worth eating, and there’s only a few more weeks of them here.  Avocados of most varieties are coming into season.

With vegetables, you can see the tipping point in the change of season happening.  I still have the summer vegetables – chillis and capsicums, tomatoes and eggplants, zucchini and cucumbers, basil and beans – but no longer in glut quantities as plants reach the end of their life.

The cool season greens are just starting to come on – celery and silver beet and lettuce and raddicchio.  I have lots of rocket and amaranth and parsley for green salads, and I am even starting to harvest the very first of the pak choi, slightly cabbage moth grub nibbled but no longer completely decimated as they were even a fortnight ago.

So that’s the produce I shall be basing my cooking around for the next month.

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