I love this time of year, when everything I harvest is the most magnificent colour. I ate the first of many mangoes for the season today. Mangoes are biennial but not every second year is good. It’s a complex mix of rain and heat at the right time that makes this kind of luck. We still have paw paws though it is getting to the end of their season, but our seedling peaches are on now and only for a couple of weeks. The grapes are hanging thick and purple (good mango years also tend to be good grape years). Our lychees are just starting to colour, and the pomegranates are great big heavy jewel filled globes. There are also figs coming on, still green yet but one to look forward to. My daughter’s very favourite fruit in the world is tamarillos so we’re picking a bucket full to take over for Christmas with her. We even have some golden bananas despite the best efforts of turkeys and geese.
This is turning into a really good tomato year too. I have yellow cherry and yellow pear, red grape and red pear, brandywine and principe borghese all bearing, and a tiny red tomato that I don’t remember planting, fruiting in trusses of lolly-sweet jewels. The Corno de Toro and banana and supermarket flat capsicums and a variety of chilis and peppers at various heats are all starting to bear well. The zucchinis and all their relatives are in glut – tromboncino and squash and this year potkin pumpkins. I don’t usually get pumpkin till a bit later, so I am really enjoying these early ones. I’m getting better at cucumbers these days – just enough for raita or tzatziki as a side dish for most meals and not so many that the chooks are sick of them!
And I am very proud of my eggplants this year. Flea beetles are one of my troublesome pests and they’re around this year, but the predators seem to be just about keeping up with them. We have harvested the first round of sweet corn and the second is about to be ready. There are more beans than we can eat green and the bean jars are starting to fill with dried beans for storage. The Rattlesnakes have been the champions up till now but the snake beans are just seriously starting to bear now.
My ginger and turmeric and galangal struggle though our normally dry spring but come into their own now the thunderstorm season has started. They love the heat and rain. There are all the usual carrots and beets.
A table laden with red and gold for this season of feasts. Happy solstice, and have a wonderful Christmas filled with love and joy and good things to eat.