This post is written for the January Garden Share Collective which has the theme of ‘fruit’.
Had I written this post a week ago, you would have received an all-too-familiar rant about lack of rain and the problems it poses for yours truly and her kitchen garden.
Rainfall in Adelaide was dismal in 2015 with a meagre total of 395mm, only 63 per cent of our long-term average of 548mm. Listening to others complain about the abundant rain they are experiencing is just so frustrating when your deepest wish is a few hours of heavy, drenching rain but the sky outside is a clear, cloudless blue.
A few days ago my prayers were answered and we got 16mm of rain. It may not sound like much to those of you in the eastern states, but it made a big difference. The garden sighed with relief and became almost perky for a day or two.
Overall, it’s been a poor summer for tomatoes and capsicums but a ripper for pumpkins. They are slowly strangling everything else in the veggie patch, but at least they’re growing.
And the fruit. Oh my, the fruit! I have more blood plums than I know what to do with. So far I’ve made plum and strawberry jam, plum jam, plum sauce, plum crumble and plum fruit leather. My nectarine tree is loaded with unripe fruit, the peaches are on the edge of ripeness and even the almond tree has done itself proud. My poor rhubarb plant has shrivelled up in the heat but you can’t have everything.
As mentioned in a post earlier in the month, my goal is for my suburban garden to provide year-round fresh fruit.
This is what my fresh fruit production looks like at present:
And this is what I hope to achieve in the next few years:
I’m not planting anything this month as it’s too hot and dry.
Plums, almonds, nectarines (from my dwarf trees), peaches (in the next week or two), zucchinis, cherry tomatoes, basil and other herbs, eggs, limes.
I need to attack the couch grass that has invaded most of my garden beds and pull out some of the rampant mint. Watering always needs doing too. But my biggest tasks for January and February are preserving vast quantities of fruit. If you have a great recipe for any kind of stone fruit, please let me know.