Tag Archives: finger lime

Green Harvest

Snow apples and mint, February, 2010
Snow apples and mint, February, 2010

My father was a keen home fruit and vege grower, mum loved her flowering plants. Grandad loved his roses. It’s a family tradition that gets in your blood, or perhaps comes in the genes. So having grown up with home grown fruit, vegetables, and all manner of flowering and non-flowering plants it was only natural we should start to establish our own gardens on our 22 acre plot.

Figs, February, 2011
Figs, February, 2011

Recognizing food intollerances that seem prevalent in most families, we opted for following organic principles as much as possible, avoiding chemicals and even seeking out heirloom varieties where we could. Heirloom plants are those that have stood the test of time, have not been genetically modified, and are the basis from which a lot of modern hybrids sprung.

First olives, April, 2011
First olives, April, 2011

So far we have harvested home grown organic heirloom strawberries, loganberries, wild blackberries, figs and a small but growing assortment of stone fruits. From these we have made our own jams, sauces, pastes and preserves.

Strawberries and Loganberries, December, 2010
Strawberries and Loganberries, December, 2010

The passionfruit vine we grew from seed and established during the early house build stages has taken over 20 meters or so of the netting fence. It regularly provides tangy passionfruit pulp for pavlovas and passionfruit ice cubes for keeping.

Tahitian limes, May, 2011
Tahitian limes, May, 2011

Our citrus collection is starting to become heavily productive with Tahitian limes, blood oranges, lemonade lemons and ruby grapefruit. Two old trees we rescued from our city block, a Myer lemon and an orange, have started fruiting again. We’ve had a small handful of mandarins from our tiny mandarin tree, and the lemon tree we grew from seed started to flower for the first time in 2010.

Hand of Buddah
Hand of Buddah, decorative and fragrant citrus. May, 2011

Many of the smaller citrus struggled with the drought and water restrictions. Hopefully with the weather changing they will now start to flourish. This should eventually provide us with two more orange varieties to add to the mix.

The nut trees – almond, macadamia, pine nut and pecan – are growing slowly. The almond may fruit this year, the others are many years away but we look forward to pecan pie and fresh roasted pine nuts some day.

The collection of fruit and berry plants continues to grow in diversity and numbers each year. This year we will add Marionberries, gooseberries, thornless blackberries and raspberries.

Two more juvenile finger limes are growing on in the shade-house nearly ready to join the collection of micro-citrus, the original finger lime the Superb Blue Wrens made their nest in.

The essential herb garden continues to improve with mint, spearmint, Japanese mentha, parsley, golden oregano, chives, thyme and Rosemary. This year we hope to add some purple sage and when the weather warms up a fresh planting of basil.

Being able to harvest fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs from your own organic garden, free from herbicides and pesticides, is an extremely satisfying feeling. It’s not without it’s challenges but the rewards are well worth it.


A prickly solution

Just discovered my wild Superb Blue Wrens have built a nest in the heart of a prickly shrub close to the contested glass pane! This could account for the male’s excessively aggressive response to his reflection – so close to his nest.

Both the male and female have been observed with beaks full of food behaving very warily in the vicinity of the nest. When they’re comfortable they’ll not be seen, they make a quick dash into the bush, leaving quick and low shortly thereafter. Indications are they are feeding young!!

When the young successfully fledge I’ll get some photos of the nest. For now, we’ll keep well clear 🙂

Update: pics as promised (ok they’ve been sitting on my HD for a while waiting to be cropped and uploaded)

The front entry to the wrens nest
Front entry to the Superb Blue Wrens nest, deep inside a finger lime bush.

The nest is about the size of a decent grapefruit, or two tennis balls one above the other. It’s compact and difficult for anything bigger than a wren to approach. The thorns on the finger lime are savage!

The back of the wrens nest
The tightly woven grasses of the back of the Superb Blue Wrens nest.

This is the back of the nest. Very difficult for any predator to approach from this side too, which is probably just as well. A 25cm long lizard seems to have moved into the rock wall near the finger lime bush. It would probably relish birds eggs as a meal …