Dragonfruit

IMG_9930These spectacular and vibrant monstrous fruits are found abundant throughout the wet season in Darwin markets. They are grown throughout Darwin and the rural area and are actually the fruit of  a cactus. The cactus flowers only at night when a large and beautiful creamy white flower appears, the next day it starts to form this awesome bright fruit and is ready 30 days later. The rubbery outer is best cut through and the inside either scooped out or cut into segments. The flavor of the fruit is bought out with a squeeze of local lime, its flavor is quite subtle and a little sweet.

On plant

The fruits are found in two varieties- red or white, the red has a slightly darker outer skin, which is softer, the red is more prized with its amazing deep pink colour, but both are delicious. These fruits are great in savory and sweet salads and add awesome color to a smoothie and dragonfruit and lime sorbet is a winner. The fruit is also known as Pitaya (Botanical name Hylocereus undatus) and originally is from Central and South America. If you want to grow them in your yard it’s pretty easily done. They need a sunny spot, some sandy organic soil
and a trellis or something for them to grow up and then along. Star pickets with a bike tyre on top do really well- you just need a cutting of a section of cactus to get started.

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Funky fungi of the wet

side awesome fungi

It is really important for us to be aware of the amazing natural seasons and weather, especially as a grower of food. Here the power of nature is even more apparent, it governs our lives and penetrates our days. The lack of rain this wet season has left a sticky sweat of suspense, the great enclosure of all reasonable thought, the constant sweaty beads forming in the great stillness and then the  beautiful rain comes again and refreshes our dreams…..and out of these recent wonderful heavy rains, pop these phallic amazing fungi about 30 cm long, with orange webbing, from the mulch under a Frangipani tree at CDU- just incredible. Along with them and under many shaded damp trees, puff balls, curly fungus and little popping mushrooms on stalks were found and I am sure many more will be popping up.

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Stinkhorn long sml

You can water a garden as much as you like, but it will never be as green and the soil alive as with the rains of the monsoon  and never as beautiful as the garden that is nature and not man made.

These orange netting beauties are in the stinkhorn family and do stink.

Red beauty smlyellow fungi sml


wee red ones

orange sml

many fun

Dan’s Awesome AWEGANICS

Dan Sheridan has a magic touch when it comes to growing food plants and everything he grows and his whole life is permeated by permaculture! He has started a project in the suburban block where he live called “Aweganics” in Rapid Creek. He is producing food plants and edible flowers, permaculture style and then selling them to small retailers and others- delivered by bike within 400m of his garden.

IMG_9976

His garden has so much produce, including Zinnia flowers, Kangkong, Amaranth, Ceylon Spinach, Egyptian spinach, lemongrass, banana (circles), sweet potato. lemon basil, thai basil, jaboticaba, sublime, cumquat, arrow root, passionfruit banana, tree spinach, ceylon spinach, chiilies, moringa, moranta, coco yam, taro, lemongrass, sweetleaf, cats whiskers, brazillian spinach, papaya, pinto peanut, black sapote, white sapote, winged bean, snake bean, sesbania, stevia, saw tooth coriander, tumeric, galangal, ginger,cassava, lemna, water lillies, mother of herbs, oregano, pineapple, pigeon pea, crotolaria, mustard, rollinia, rungia, pineapple sage, mung bean…

Dan 2

Dan only started this garden 6 months ago and it is incredible. Bananas, pineapples and pawpaws and the more longer fruiting plants, like citrus have been put in and will be producing in abundance soon. It is only going to be more full of wonders in the future.

dan 3

dan butterflydan5 To contact Dan email him on breatharianrestaurant@hotmail.com or call 0432476003

Rambutans

Now if you have been to Rapid Creek or other local markets and local fruit and veg shops you may have seen that Rambutans are in season (and they are from November to Feb in the NT). These rubbery red monsters hang in bunches on large beautiful trees in rural Darwin and beyond.

Rambu blog

The fleshy spikey skin can be split with you nails or teeth and underneath is a smooth sweet and juicy white fruit. This has a small stone inside it and tastes a lot like a lychee and is high in vitamin C.  The fruit can be enjoyed fresh out of the shell or enjoyed in a variety of Asian sweet and sour style dishes.

Rambu blog 2

Their botanical name is Nephelium lappaceum and they originally come from Indonesia and Malaysia. If you fancy growing them in your yard, you need a big space for them- they can get to a height of up to 20m, but you can prune them to stay lower.

Also availabale at Greenie’s real food 

Permaculture Ukelele

A friend of mine, Charlie, who truly believes in permaculture, has raised money to produce a great rocking ukelele album all about the principles of permaculture.. He has performed some of these funky tunes at Woodford Folk Festival and The Eclipse festival. He is recording the album right now to spread the word. You can donate if you want, or buy the album later…  spreading the word through great tunes

Check it out- http://permaculturesongs.com/about/

Charlie

Barbados Cherry

This is a great shrub/ small tree to plant. Our beautiful neighbours have one on their nature strip which is often fruiting. We have planted a small one at the front of our place, but it is yet to fruit They make a great hedge and will suddenly flush with an abundance of these sour cherry-like fruit.

Barbados tree web

They are delicious, a bit sour and high in vitamin C. The latin name is Malpighia emarginata, also known as Acerola and as the name suggests originally from the Caribbean. 

Barbados for web