Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Big bananas and pico-peaches

"The best fertilizer is the gardener's shadow"

I must note (with some sense of sadness) that the water restrictions and recent heat waves have seen many once-productive Adelaide gardens abandoned during this past summer. DSCN0012

One chap who comes to mind retired last July and did a nice job during spring of building up his veggie patch, with some fine tomatoes and cucumbers, basil and carrots. Come the first heat wave, he threw up his hands and went inside to watch the cricket and to moan about the water restrictions, leaving the garden and all potential crops to whither and die. I've met many folk recently who sing the same refrain: "too hard, too hard..."

How can we save seed, reduce our personal footprints and learn to live in an altered climate if our best gardeners spit-the-dummy when the chips are down?  DSCN0010Who will be left to lead the way and retain that knowledge of local plants suitable to our local conditions? Who'll be around to pass on advice to folk new to growing their own food?

  OK, so I'm not blameless either in these hard times; I stayed out the backyard with the veggies and pretty-much left the fruit trees in the front yard to their own devices. And therein lie some valuable lessons...

1) Bananas: We have a small grove of "Lady Finger" bananas that somehow survived the heat and the fact that I cut their water ration to zero. I'd also cut out all the old palms last year to allow the light into our north-facing sunroom. The young palms that sprang up produced some sizable hands of bananas. So I will keep thinning out the old ones and enjoying bananas.

DSCN00152) Peaches: Peaches ran riot in the hot weather, on no water. We has three full boxes over the past six weeks, and didn't manage to eat them all - many just dropped to the ground to rot.

The last ones (from the fridge) were eaten last week, and the very next day, almost miraculously, the late-season cling-stone peaches were ready (photo). They are very small this year (for lack of water during the cell-division stage of setting the fruit), but they are abundant and delicious - like peach-flavoured  apricots. And coming up after them is another tree loaded up with another variety of cling-stone peach, covered in much bigger fruit. So peaches for another month, then the citrus will be back...

So perhaps the closing message should be this: -

"When the going gets tough, the tough get going!"

DSCN0008And P.S. It’s raining for the first time in over two months! 18 mm today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I too have had a wonderful crop of peaches ... all from a tree that grew from a stone one of the boys probably threw out of the car beside the driveway on the way to school years ago ... and which we never water or look after at all!

There are now about 10kg of delicious stewed peaches in the freezer awaiting consumption over the coming year.