Tag Archives: Quince

The miracle of the American paw paw in Australia

Not as ripe as it looks

Last year we planted two American paw paw trees. By the start of this year they had both disappeared. Sad, but true. Probably eaten by deer, or maybe just not watered enough. Whatever the reason, it makes what I’m about to tell you seem a little weird.

For the last couple of weeks, we’ve been harvesting American paw paws. Not from the dead trees, I hasten to add. But around five years ago, it turns out, we bought an American paw paw seedling from a nursery in Warragul. We planted it, and more or less forgot about it, imagining that the burgeoning bush behind our rampant kiwi fruit vine was a noxious weed.

So when we saw large yellow fruit on the ground around its trunk, we imagined these were random quinces that had been mysteriously transported from the top paddock, where – if truth be told – they have performed without distinction. This attractive looking but so far entirely tasteless fruit turns out to be the Asimina triloba.

What I want to know now is whether anyone has ever actually eaten one. I’m going to follow up myself with Kentucky State University, which runs the world’s only full time (American) paw paw research program. The fruit we’ve tried so far has been less than ripe, despite its luscious appearance. But it’s June, and to be honest, at this time of year, any kind of harvest is remarkable enough as winter tightens its grip. Especially for something we’d given up for dead.

If you’ve ever eaten or even seen this fruit before, please let me know. I want to know what to expect next.

Quinces, the first taste of autumn

 

drought survivors

A few weeks ago we were worried that even these notoriously hardy trees would be too stressed from the heat to hang on to their small crops. But by the end of the first week of March, we realised that the fruit, which turns the most intense of yellows as it ripens, had managed to cling on. We placed them all in a large pot along with some of our very ripe chinottos (this is a citrus, and they loved all the summer heat), and left them on the kitchen stove all day. More about our quinces here.

Icy Creek – Fruit and Nut Inventory

 

Midsummer in the main orchard paddock

Midsummer in the main orchard paddock

As well as the chestnuts, we have started up a cool climate orchard with a range of  fruit trees, soft fruit shrubs, and a few other nut trees. Over this summer I’ll set up some pages for some of the season’s star performers (the kiwis and the gooseberries look promising this year), along with some of our newest additions (the perry trees, which are supposed to get enormous in about 50 years)  but here’s a broad overview of what’s in the ground.

APPLE (Pomme de Neige, Peasgood Nonsuch, Red Fuji, Staymans Winesap, Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Gala, Akane, Bramley’s Seedling, Kingston Black, Mutsu, Somerset Redstreak, Michelin, Bulmer’s Norman, Grimes Golden, Frequin Rouge Amer, Cox’s Orange Pippin, Stewart’s Seedling, and Summer Strawberry)

PEAR (William, Packham, Beurre Bosc, Corella)

PERRY PEAR (Gin and Green Horse)

APRICOT (Moorpark)

PLUM (Greengage, Prune D’Agen, President, Coe’s Golden Drop)

PLUCOT

NECTARINE (Goldmine)

CHERRY (Sunburst, Napoleon)

PEACH (Taylor Queen, Anzac)

MEDLAR

GOOSEBERRY (Captivator)

BLACKCURRANT

REDCURRANT

LOGANBERRY

THORNLESS BLACKBERRY

THORNLESS YOUNGBERRY

MULBERRY (English Black)

BLUEBERRY (Denise, Northern, Blue Rose, Brigitta)

JOSTABERRY

QUINCE (Smyrna)

KIWI (Haywood)

POMEGRANATE (Wonderful)

STRAWBERRY (Cambridge Rival)

WALNUT (Hartley, Tehama)

ALMOND

CHESTNUT (Red Spanish, Purdon’s Pride, De Coppe Marone)

HAZELNUT

OLIVE

LEMON (Meyer)

CHINOTTO

ORANGE (Seville)