Many herbs this season have taken all of Spring & Summer to get somewhere, so it makes you appreciate when they mature. Now we are experiencing an early Winter which is shortening what's available earlier than normal (what's normal ?). But that's the seasons, so enjoy them for what they bring, weather wise & seasonal produce.
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We've always liked unusual edible plants which causes us to attempt growing rarer herbs, fruits & heirloom vegetables. I still have a tropical plant fixation, can't help it... it's in my blood. Rob also began his apprenticeship many years ago at Tropical Fruit World in northern NSW (link top right page). Once an agricultural research station farm the property now grows endless exotic tropical / native fruits & aromatic plants. A great must stop tourist attraction, beautiful lush grounds, restaurant & shop. Rob was lucky to taste & cook with so many different exotic & native fruits.
Our small collection so far includes Curry Leaf Trees, Lemon Scented Myrtle, Cardamom, Turmeric ,Ginger, Chillies & Lemongrass. . Then there are Mangoes, Red Papayas & Pineapples.The biggest flowering herb - Bananas are progressing well except the wind is a bit shredding, so more protection will be needed this Winter & time as usual, luckily we have a spare in the tunnel. Just takes years instead of a season or so for them to mature. Soon we hope to add / trial new herbs - Orange Thyme (one we hadn't heard of) & Lime Verbena - it has an amazing aromatic citrus zing like Tahitian lime juice & zest.
This Summer we have just added to the collection of rarer plants - Red Dragon Fruit - Pitaya. It is a cactus, the fruit the size & shape of a mango with the most amazing blood red flesh. It has tiny black seeds & texture like a kiwi fruit. Sometimes you can buy them at the supermarkets seasonally. The beautiful night time blooms are so exotic - pure white & yellow flowers the size of a dinner plate ! We grew ours against a fence & it was one of the plants we were sad to leave in our move because it had already matured with fantastic flowers & blood red fruit.
So now that it is in, I am babying again & Rob tells me to leave it alone as I check it obsessively ! With growing these plants out of their normal climate zone, they either succeed or don't but when they do it's so exciting. So now we wait & see what happens over the years to come.... more photos asap.
Below Red Dragon Fruit Cuttings
Yippee ...3 tiny new buds, 5 weeks in
Above 3 & 1/2 mths since planting, growing faster than expected
I have been trying to source Red Dragon Fruit from supermarkets to post a photo as they are generally in season this time of year but possibly because of QLD floods they haven't been available. So for stunning fruit, flower photos & more info go to Red Fox Pitayas - link top right page. From whom I bought these cuttings also. Or type "Red Dragon Fruit" into Google Images search box.