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April Newsletter 2001


CHOCOLATE PUDDING FRUIT

If you like Chocolate you'll love Black Sapote fruit! It sounds amazing, but the Black Sapote is often referred to as the "Chocolate Pudding Fruit" because that is exactly what it tastes like. It has the consistency of chocolate with rich luscious dark-brown coloured flesh and is a Chocolate Lover's dream come true. It is low in fat and even more incredible is its ability to fool the most ardent Chocolate connoisseurs when it is used as a chocolate substitute in cakes and milkshakes. It would have to be one of the most delicious and versatile of all tropical fruits and is used in many dishes across the world. Mixed with yoghurt or thickened cream it makes an instant chocolate moose that is hard to resist. Go to http://www.asiacuisine.com/publishing/sepoct7/rec52-1.html for a delicous recipe using Black Sapotes

Did you know?…

Whilst called a black sapote this fruit is actually a member of the Persimmon family. The name Sapote is derived from the native American word for sweet fruit, sapotal. A highly ornamental and fast growing evergreen tree, the fruit needs to be eaten when fully ripe and of a soft slightly wrinkled appearance. Fruit can be picked when the bright-green skin changes to an olive green. Fortunately the tree is a very heavy bearer which allows some fruit to make it to the cooking bench however most is eaten fresh.

Recipe for Daley's Mudcake Brownies

 

Ingredients

  ¼ cup Cocoa

 1 cup sugar

 1 Tspn water

 6 egg whites

 1 very ripe large banana

 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 ¾ cup ripe black sapote pulp

 1 cup oat bran

 1 cup chopped macadamia nuts

 

 

Preheat oven to 180C and grease a shallow biscuit tin. Combine the cocoa, water and fruit in a bowl and mix well. Add the sugar, egg whites and vanilla and beat until smooth, then add the oat bran. Fold in the nuts and pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Bake for 45 minutes, leave to cool and cut into squares to serve.


The hidden treasures of the Custard Apple family

 

How many times can you boast that you have enjoyed a chilled fruit that tasted like a Lemon Meringue pie, banana custard or a Vanilla Slice?

 

This group of delicious fruit trees contain some of the best fruits on the planet. Custard apples, Cherimoyas, Sweetsops, Soursops and Rollinias, all are described as having flavours reminiscent of pineapple-banana, papaya- mango-raspberries and guava. You will be able to taste every fruit in the world in at least one of them.

The Cherimoya (Annona cherimola) as Mark Twain said, is "deliciousness itself" and Haenke called it a "Masterpiece of Nature". Luscious, soft, sweet and tangy, the smooth white flesh is described by many as having the flavour of Mango, pawpaw, bananas and coconut. A rewarding addition to the garden, the large evergreen leaves provide a lush tropical look. The flowers smell just like the fruit tastes and they have a lengthy bloom cycle that announces the bounty to come.
Closely related to the custard apple and looking almost the same, most find the Cherimoya more delicious. It is not grown as often commercially as it doesn't bear as heavily and the trees require a frost-free location when young. The tree is ideal for home orchards and will crop as far south as Melbourne.
The Rollinia (Rollinia mucosa) is again a taste sensation with a taste like creamy lemon sherbet or a lemon meringue pie. A large yellow fruit with a bumpy surface and soft spines the tree performs best in warm subtropical to tropical conditions, however grafted varieties are performing exceedingly well as far south as Coffs Harbour.

Soursop (Annona muricata) Fruits are heart-shaped with a rough green skin with soft fleshy spines. The flesh is very juicy and slightly acid, and produces a rich creamy juice which is very refreshing. Superb dessert when puree is mixed at 30% intro vanilla icecream. Dries very well to an acid sweet leather. Grafted varieties that have the least acid flavour and least fibrous consistency are cut into sections and the flesh eaten with a spoon. Considered a delicacy in many countries the seeded pulp has been canned in Mexico and served throughout the world. Immature soursops are cooked as vegetables or used in soup in Indonesia and roasted or fried in Brazil. The fruit is picked when fully grown and still firm but slightly yellow-green. Firm fruits are held a few days at room temperature. Upon maturity the skin will blacken and become unsightly while the flesh is still unspoiled and useable.
Sweetsop or sugar apple (Annona squamosa) is an interesting tropical American fruit with succulent segmented flesh that is creamy-white, glistening, delightfully fragrant, juicy and sweet with a custard-like taste. Delicious eaten raw (preferably chilled),in fruit salads, ice creams and drinks.
Poshte (Annona scleroderma) This round fruit is about the size of an orange and has a relatively hard thick shell of 1/2cm thick. It has a dull green surface with perfectly textured pulp. Much richer than the soursop the flavour is highly aromatic and delicious.
Soncoya (Annona purpurea) The soncoya is a large spiny fruit leading people to nickname it the porcupine fruit. The bright orange, aromatic flesh suggests a hint of mango. Ideally suited to tropical or warm subtropical climates the fruit quality of this species won't see it available commercially, however it is an excellent addition to the fruit tree enthusiasts orchard.

Dwarf Fruit Trees

Have you always wanted to grow fruit trees but your backyard isn't much bigger than your front door. Don't despair, with the availability of dwarf fruit trees you can enjoy the rewards of growing and harvesting fresh, sun-ripened fruit from your own trees.

Despite their tiny size, these small trees yield full-size fruit, every bit as big and flavourful as that of their bigger sisters. And yields are astounding, too. A mature dwarf peach can easily fill a fruit box with delicious fruit. The beauty of dwarf varieties is they are compact enough to grow on a patio, and because they can be successfully grown in pots they can often be grown outside their ideal climatic zone.

Dwarf fruit trees are orchard-proven fruit-producing varieties. They are grafted onto specific dwarfing rootstocks and create highly productive trees that can reach up to ½ the height of the full sized variety however are usually much smaller due to being grown in pots. Producing dwarf fruit trees is a highly specialised field and the trees that are suited to this type of procedure require these attributes.
Climate suitability - the trees must be compatible to today's outdoor garden environment.
Form - the trees must occupy less than ½ that of a full sized tree.
Fruiting - Highly productive with excellent quality fruit similar to that of commercial varieties.

Commercially grown dwarf trees are created by grafting a normal fruiting branch, or scion, grafted on to a dwarf rootstock. In the case of citrus this rootstock is Flying Dragon. Apart from its obvious dwarfing characteristics Flying Dragon also shows a good resistance against phytophthora and Citrus nematodes. The fruit quality and production is excellent as is its hardiness to cold climates.

There are two types of dwarf trees. These trees are the TRUE dwarfs, and the traditional dwarfed and semi-dwarfed trees that have full-size tops (usually of a related, but not identical species) grafted onto dwarfing rootstocks. Years of careful, selective breeding have resulted in new lines of genetic dwarf fruit trees such as the dwarf peach.

To grow dwarf trees successfully in containers all you need to do is supply a rich potting mix and repot regularly. Feed the trees every 6 months with a slow release fertiliser, provide plenty of sunlight, and keep the tree moist. Mulching the surface of pots with lucerne mulch has proven to be highly beneficial. If you live in a cold-winter area, move the tree into a greenhouse or polyhouse during the colder months. Their small size makes the seasonal tasks of thinning fruit, spraying for pests, harvesting, and pruning a snap as well. By five years of age, most miniatures are mature and bearing heavily year after year. The secret with keeping trees healthy and productive in containers is to repot and prune (roots and tops) at least every two years.


Other dwarf fruit trees available throughout the year are dwarf apples, dwarf black mulberry, dwarf Mango Irwin and dwarf peach. Look for more information on these in our on-line catalogue.

Less space, less work, high yields...what more could you ask for?

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The Orchard -
What's being harvested this month

 Kiwifruit

 Cherimoyas, YUM!

 Longans

Early citrus, navels and mandarins

 Persimmons

 Jakfruit

 Early season Avocadoes

 Ice cream beans

 Babacos and pawpaws

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