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In Season in Mid Summer

in season in February

My pickings today loaded up my kitchen bench.  Mangoes are biennial, and this is a mango year, so I’ve been making smoothies and cakes and pickles and chutney and sorbet, and giving lots away.  The spring this year was wet enough for the pomegranates to fruit well – often our springs are too dry – and the tamarillos are all ripening at once.  I’m back to growing enough tomatoes to bottle some, the snake beans and green and purple and Madagascar beans are all bearing enough for both eating green and letting mature for the bean jars, and the  chilis and capsicums have all started to ripen at once.  The tromboncino dropped fruit in the heat wave early in the new year, but the rain since has brought them all back into glut again, and the Suyo Long cucumbers are bearing well enough to become a favourite variety.  I’m making pesto from sweet basil, and I have lots of lemon, lime and Thai basil too. Feels like such luxury to have such glorious abundance. Now I just need to decide how to deal with it all!

As well as all the glut crops, we are picking the first of the figs, passionfruit, and carambolas and the last of the paw paws, and the occasional Jackfruit (which can make a glut just with one fruit).  Our peaches are finished, but stonefruit are still well in season in many places.  The geese have decided they like eating banana palms, which would be an issue except that the wild brush turkeys have been getting all the  bananas for years. If we were shorter on fruit I’d need to do something about that, but I’ve run out of good ideas to try.  I figure I’m just fattening up the brush turkeys as security in case of real famine times!

I still have a few zucchinis planted and bearing but the tromboncinos are good competition for them.  The yellow button squash make a nice change sometimes.  The next patch of  sweet corn is just about ready. We’re between pumpkins – the potkins are finished and the Japs about to come on. I’ve had better success with eggplants this year than usual.  There’s the usual carrots and beets, and as usual the greens are scarce this time of year.

My ginger and turmeric love the heat and rain this time of year.  I have both as perennial plots – I just dig some when I want it – but this time of year the plants are growing like crazy.

So this is the harvest around which I base my cooking this time of year.  I’d love to hear what’s harvesting in other places.


{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Tracey February 10, 2013, 2:50 pm

    Oh, that is amazing! I would loooove some of your tropical fruit glut, but alas, we just aren’t living in the tropics!
    We are able to still grown lettuces here through summer (though we have to watch them) and have some lovely lettuces for salads this week. I’m also picking tomatoes and zucchinis each day now and always have basil to go with them. We had our first corn of the year this week and have been picking capsicums (though they are just about to go crazy now and the chillis aren’t ready yet). Our fruit trees are mostly still young, but we picked a box of ripe nectarines this morning and have several more boxes that will be ready to pick over the next couple of weeks. My beetroot are beautiful and we have carrots too. Green beans haven’t done that well this year, though I have a few and I picked plenty of beans for drying last week. I tried a number of new things this year and sadly they haven’t been very successful – not sure whether to blame the weather or the plants or the soil…..
    Your harvest is jujst beatiful – thanks for sharing!

  • Joyfulhomemaker February 10, 2013, 3:55 pm

    how many days of harvesting is all that?? lovely produce you got there..we are harvesting..lettuce,tomatos,zucchini,pumpkins,cucumbers,strawberries ,rhubarb,..i have plums that should be ready to be picked soon..possums got the peaches 🙁

  • celia February 10, 2013, 4:33 pm

    Just fabulous harvest! We’re picking snake beans (hooray! An auspicious start to the Year of the Snake!), purple climbing beans, long eggplants, basil, perennial leeks, and we have some turnip-rooted parsley that should be ready soon.. xx

  • Jane February 10, 2013, 5:48 pm

    What a marvelous harvest Linda, cant quite match that but here in C Qld even after 900mm of rain last month I have eggfruit, capsicum, chilli, Thai Pink tomatoes, basil, last of the carrots the rain has tended to rot them, a few mangoes & the acerolla is full of flowers, shalots, garlic & turmeric, ginger does not seem to have sprouted this year. A few long beans & your new seed already sprouted so I should have time for a crop. Now trying to get lettuce & asian greens started but they need to stay under shade cloth untill the really hot weather has gone.

  • Linda February 10, 2013, 5:52 pm

    Hi Tracey, I envy your nectarines! Too many fruit flies here for nectarines. Otherwise though, you’re harvesting a similar range.

  • Jane February 10, 2013, 5:52 pm

    Just forgot I picked my first Tromboncino this morning, had to hand polinate, it was 42cm long, perhaps I left it too long, but have had no luck with Zuchinni for 2 years all male flowers & any female do not seem to open properly

  • Linda February 10, 2013, 5:57 pm

    Hi Joyfulhomemaker, this is all harvested this morning, but it’s a big harvest. I stripped off most of the last of the pomegranates because I was scared the cockatoos would get them. And the olives in jars in the back are a one-off- we picked 9 big jars full this morning but that’s it for the year. And the jackfruit is one of only three this year. Generally I pick every day for that day, and do a big pick on the weekend. But we’ve been getting a basket like this of mangoes most days and a bowl like this of tomatoes, and the chooks are getting sick of tromboncino. My strawberries are finished now, and I’ve given up on plums, which is a pity. So much you can do with a good lot of plums!

  • Linda February 10, 2013, 6:17 pm

    Wonder why Jane? They do tend to throw male flowers first, and only female flowers when conditions are good. So perhaps it’s just stress?

  • elaine February 10, 2013, 7:32 pm

    I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw your wonderful harvest. Here in the UK we are going through the ‘hungry gap’ where there isn’t a lot to find in the veg garden – a few leeks, the odd cabbage, parsnips. Even in the summer we couldn’t get such a variety as you have. I am green with envy.

  • Pat Machin February 10, 2013, 9:51 pm

    How wonderful! We have snow here!

  • Linda February 11, 2013, 8:16 am

    Hi Elaine, I do realise how very lucky I am!

  • Africanaussie February 11, 2013, 10:12 am

    I am amazed by what you can grow in your area! You seem able to grow tropical fruit like mangoes, bananas and jackfruit, but then also stone fruit. I have been fascinated by your trombochino, but if they wilted at the sign of heat then I guess they wont grow here in the tropics. Very little in our garden at the moment – Winged beans, sweet potatoes, and then the perrenials like ginger and turmeric.

  • Linda February 11, 2013, 11:21 am

    Africanaussie, we can’t really grow stonefruits – seedling peaches with tough skins is about all, and even they get fruit fly stung. Our climate is subtropical, but my site is high enough to be pretty nearly frost free everywhere, and certainly with enough microclimates I can guarantee to be frost free, so that gives me a lot of options. The tromboncino don’t mind the heat, but they didn’t like the water stress of the heat wave. The vines survived fine, but they dropped fruit. If I could keep enough water up to them, they probably would cope. But that was extreme – several days in a row well into the 40’s.

  • Louise February 13, 2013, 1:30 pm

    What a wonderful haul! I am looking with envy at your pomegranates. I will be putting a few plants in when it gets cooler and when I have a Wallaby-proof fence. Do you have suggestions on variety? And do you know if you can raise them from seed taken from a fruit?

  • Linda February 13, 2013, 6:54 pm

    Hi Louise, we got ours from Daley’s, our local nursery, and I think they are Azerbaijani variety. The wallabies have left them alone, and we have wallabies! I haven’t tried to raise from seed, but I can’t see why it wouldn’t be possible.

  • Tracy February 20, 2013, 5:19 am

    Wow. Your fruit makes my mouth water. Oh how I wish I could grow some of those more tropical fruits. But we have great stone fruit and apples I guess to make up for it a little bit.

  • Linda February 20, 2013, 9:02 am

    Apples….mmmm….so many wonderful heritage varieties. Yes, there are swings and roundabouts. But I do realise how lucky I am to live in a place with a year round growing season, and able to grow mangoes and paw paws and custard apples and macadamias.

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