Persimmons are not necessarily to everyone’s liking but are a fabulously gaudy fruit that the birds leave alone! Thanks to friend and neighbour Bill O’Shea (courtesy of friends of his) I have managed to procure more than one kilo of these orange gems. (My persimmons tree is young but we have high hopes for it!) After playing a long waiting game, the fruit is finally ripe (it is ripe when it is soft to touch, simply pluck off the stem and bracts and either carefully peel or dig into it with a spoon). Gelatinous and gooey they are fabulously sweet and make a great addition to yogurt, ice cream and atop cereal or for something different try persimmon bread (see my web site recipe section).
I have also been busy in the kitchen experimenting with ways to maximise the fruit and vegetables that cross our benches in winter. Things like candied apple peel and pickled broccoli stems have been successful. I will be running workshops on this topic in October at Warrnambool’s Down and Dirty Weekend so stay tuned for details.
This dry weather has caused numerous frosts by preventing the re-radiation of heat from the soil profile into the atmosphere and hence creating a cold inversion layer. Apart from covering susceptible plants another option is to spray a weak, aged cow manure solution onto leaves which will help to prevent plant cells from freezing and decrease the likelihood of damage.
My shed is slowly coming together thanks to everyone who pitched in with access, gaining and laying the crazy paving!