After a quick catch up from Lloyd on this busy Sunday there’s lots of activity in the gardens, one group is busy looking after annual vegetable and flower beds, from across the soup garden I see compost loaded into wheelbarrows and added to the scented rose bed. Another group meet to take a walk and review fruit trees, which require seasonal and regular tending as well as some specialist tools and skills. Already core volunteers shaped the circle of umeboshi plum trees for our big open day recently, but there are over a hundred trees on this site, and care has bad years as well as good ones, so not all the trees are in great shape today. Wayne, Brian Sue and I take an observation stroll through the apple tree walk, and with pruning loppers in hand is it not long before some emergency dead limb removal takes place. On the other side of the apple walk, are quinces, medlar and stone fruits.
As we examine the medlar, it turns out there are a couple of ripe fruits there, which of course we have to try. Rebekah suggests that although raw, they taste almost like a cooked fruit, indeed the flavour is comparable to a filling scooped from the loveliest of Danish pastries. The second is over ripe and dry but nontheless reminds me of Malt loaf, in colour and texture as well as flavour
In June a workshop is organised in conjunction with Transition Blue Mountains and the Fruit and Nut Tree Network. We will focus on pruning stone fruit trees along with this medlar tree, which are all looking a little straggly these days, in the process revitalising their beauty as well as their ability to bring us more fruit! To book in, check out the details over at the Fruit and Nut Tree Network site.