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In Season in October in Northern NSW

One of my best childhood memories is stripping down to knickers (so we didn’t get into trouble for staining our clothes) and climbing the mulberry tree, and my kids did the same.  Mulberries are so soft that they are the classic non-marketable fruit.  I have picked a bowl for baking, but really, the only way to eat them is straight from the tree.

The birds get nearly all our black mulberries, but we have a white mulberry tree that is absolutely laden with nearly ripe fruit and so far the birds haven’t cottoned on to it.  The white mulberries are sweeter – almost too sweet for me – but not as flavoursome as the purple ones and not as rich in antioxidants.

The other fruit right in season now are strawberries.  We are still picking the last of the late season citrus – mandarins and lemons mostly – and the first of the season paw paws.  Rhubarb is also in season, but I don’t grow it – one of the few fruits that none of us like. The local farmers market still has local Hass avocados.

With vegetables, this is so far an unusually cool, wet spring, which means that the leafy greens are still going strong.  I have silver beet and chard of several different kinds as well as English spinach, and chinese cabbages of several varieties.  The lettuces are all beautiful and I have rocket and aragula and amaranth and nasturtiums to go with them.

The cool weather also means things that might normally bolt to seed are still bearing well.  I have big fat leeks and spring onions,  the celery is  loving the weather and the parsley, coriander and dill haven’t bolted yet.

I’m picking the first of the asparagus and finally picking broccoli – the bower birds massacred my first plantings so it’s late this year.  Cauliflowers are not far behind.  The peas and snow peas are succumbing to powdery mildew so the plants are not lasting as long and I am not getting as much of a yield as some years.  But by planting successive lots and separating them, I am still getting a  decent yield. The broad beans are now at the peak of their short season.

So that’s what I’ll be basing my cooking around this month.

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Fiona October 3, 2010, 12:50 pm

    Hi Linda
    I just wanted to let you know I’ve recently finished your wonderful book, invested some time in creating a chook dome and we’re underway, with chooks now at day 3 on their first site. This morning has seen the kids and I create a compost heap. We’re fortunate to live on a property with access to plenty of hay and both cattle and horse manure. I’m eager to see how good a job the chooks can do in a fortnight, and am thinking of putting in a full bed of corn initially. Will continue to enjoy your blog. Just wanted you to know that permaculture is alive and well in hot central Qld.

  • Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial October 3, 2010, 3:36 pm

    What a fabulous photo of your fresh produce! Sigh..the only mulberries we get here come via bird droppings on our car.. 🙂

  • Linda October 3, 2010, 5:21 pm

    That’s wonderful Fiona! Full bed of corn is a good choice this time of year on a new bed. The curcubits – zucchini, squash, cucumbers and melons will also do well in your first round coming into hot weather. Please don’t treat my book like a bible – I change my systems all the time. Go with what you like to eat and what works in your climate. I’m looking forward to hearing about it as it grows.

  • cityhippyfarmgirl October 4, 2010, 1:48 pm

    I was just thinking this morning that my boys and I should be cruising the streets for mulberry trees. It’s another great childhood memory for me too, and not something that I get to eat these days.

  • nadeeka October 5, 2010, 1:52 pm

    Oh Linda that photo is a wonderful sight. I’ve been planting various kinds of berries – hope we will be picking one day… Our pawpaw (and banana) was almost destroyed by the frost a few months ago, but it is showing signs of life now. The rest of it – leeks, lettuces, various leaves etc…. yum, we are really enjoying them 🙂

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