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Favourite Fruit

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When I was growing up as a kid on the family farm up north, one of my best memories is of the huge orchard we had next to the house. It had every sort of fruit you could think of. One of the best were the plums. Huge, juicy, and very bad for a kid who gorged himself.

Five years ago when we got our new home in Cambridge, we put a plum tree in. It was espaliered to keep it low and easy to pick the fruit. This year it’s produced the best crop ever. Shows you what care and attention can produce.

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15 COMMENTS

  1. My Son and his Mrs bought a house in Cambridge about 6 years ago and I’m genuinely envious of their lifestyle now compared to the shithole that Auckland has become, their garden and glasshouse are a sight to behold at the moment.

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  2. Cambridge is a beautiful town I went there on Tuesday for breakfast with my daughter, son in law and grandson. The whole town was buzzing, lots of shops were closed as it was the dreaded maori whinge fest day. I am sure there are areas where the streets are not great but we went over the big bridge for a drive and it all looked very tidy and lovely. Far from Hamilton where the main streets shops are mostly shut down, it is the result of allowing the Base to grow to the extent it has, but to be honest there are just chain shops there now anyway.

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  3. Agreed Ed, this has not been a bad fruit season. We have close to an acre and when we came here 7 years ago, it was a wasteland. We have espaliered Quince, Apples and Pears on fence lines. But in the orchard area we have 7 different Avocado varieties which should give a long range of harvest, Black Boy peaches, Queen Peaches, 5 varieties of Plum, 4 varieties of Fig, Finger Lime, Kafir and Tahitian Lime, Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit, Satsuma Mandarin, Olives and Grapes amongst other odds and ends.

    Last year was a poor growing season because of a heavy -6 Deg frost on 6th October 2022, it knocked everything back considerably for fruiting, but this year is the complete opposite and just goes to show that even in a cooler winter climate, fruit can do well if the summer is good.

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  4. Have one of those big purple juicy plums. what a pain they become. Chopped the top off the tree, grew like a nutter again but this year only a small amount of fruit thank goodness. Can’t be bothered keeping the birds off (there is a gell for that), and then having to pick them and give them away. Like growing veges. Waste of time when I can grow flowers. One person don’t eat much. And fuck the poor they can grow their own.
    In the Bay you have to spray. no getting away from the bugs and the rot.
    Chainsaw getting somemore exercise in the coming weeks.
    Same with the passion fruit. millions of the buggers. but half the vine decided to die.Just makes mess even though I eat some most days. Will see what happens to that fella.

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    • Passionfruit are a favourite but those swarms of mealy bugs and passion vine hoppers make it almost impossible so we must spray. Great to discover the fruit can go straight into the freezer with their nature designed shell keeping the fruit sweet and beautiful for use later.

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  5. When I was a kid, Mum planted a house orchid, & then the preserving jars came out for the harvest, which is still wildly producing.

    However I do not know how it was acquired, but at the back of the garage in a sunny sheltered northern facing nook, an old fashion grape, where the fruit was soft & luscious.
    The fun for me was also finding ways of stretching out wires between the house & the garage, & keeping them secured them to take the weight of the vine. A learning curve in of itself for a kid, for what could take the strain & the weight when the the tendrils sought out & took hold.

    It was a competition with wasps at this time of year, so we soon learnt to check that out, but once it grew out, there seemed to be plenty for every one.
    It is now gone, & it seems not a type that others will grow these days.
    Vines are not thing as it seems they grow into places where people do not want them.

    Nothing like today’s super market California, Australia, Chile grapes.

    At the moment on mentioning “German” wasps; so far there are no signs of them.
    Have those new comers, “paper wasps” replaced them?
    When young never saw ‘welcome swallows’ but now (self introduced circa 1950’s) about more than a 100 are sitting on power wire,
    But have noticed the fan tail numbers went down.

    I see TAH black boy peaches, the first 3 trees Mum planted.
    Gave great harvests, even though the trees were not large.
    But in the last few decades, the mould would start on the fruit, while the fruit was hard, & not ready. The last of those trees has only just died.

    The pear tree, plant for your heirs, as only had an occasional pear, but seems to struggle against aphids, curly leaf?
    A very old pear tree on another house site, has had some good crops, but does seem to produce ‘woody’ pears that never seem to ripen. Cattle love them ! 🙂 & love the steak.

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    • Simpleton, the woody pears are a result of not harvesting correctly I believe.
      I’ve been told you want to harvest them before they’re ready and ripen them in a cool dry place to avoid that gritty texture. It seems it’s an issue that is dependant on the variety of pear including the common ones we buy, and that’s the normal harvest treatment for them, but as I don’t live at a place with a pear tree anymore, I’ve never actually tried it out myself.

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    • I have tried that, with the sun room, and other places.
      Yes, I will pick earlier & see how that goes.

      Yet that tree has in the past produced wondrous luscious juicy fruit that would fill a front end loader bucket where ever you gently pushed that in.
      Even the cattle back then were even more addicted to what dropped that year. 🙂

      I have heard It is like the old time saying , “Beat the wife, beat the pear tree” to make them better & to bear fruit.
      It should be pruned, “beaten?” and some of those branches are quite substantial.

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    • My ex and I had a house in Dunners with a well-established old grape vine. When we were renovating one weekend, a slew of people turned up and were looking at the house from the footpath. I eventually asked one of them what the deal was – turned out it was a family reunion and it had been a grandmother’s or great gran’s house.

      They took away cuttings of the grape to grow as a memento of the reunion. Hope at least some of them, took.

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    • I grow Blackboy peaches and plums.
      This year has been a good year for plums.
      Unfortunately peaches and nectarines did not like wet feet and most of mine have died. Blackboys can be grown from a stone.
      Pears need to be pressure tested. They do not ripen on the tree. WBC for example need to have a pressure of around 18psi before harvest.
      That is quite firm but you leave them and they then ‘mature’.

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      • If you are replanting wiseowl, consider planting some Taylor’s Gold pear trees. The only pear worth looking at.
        I think it was originally discovered growing in someone’s back yard in Nelson in the 1970s. It was considered so good, nurseries latched onto it quickly and started propogating it.

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  6. We have a number of fruit trees but my favorites are the persimmon and the orange. They are the only ones not affected by guava moth which are bad around here. Still have to compete with the birds for the persimmons but it’s a big tree so plenty to go around. The orange had a massive crop this year and started eating them in August and just ate the last one a few days ago.

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  7. Love my Feijoa’s. Now half of the readers will love them, and the others have no taste, but them are the breaks. Still early days, but seem to have a normal crop growing. The blue berries are down this year, but that is more likely an issue with us than the weather or plants, and the neighbours plums are just about finished. Another good year for them and the birds.

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  8. When we first moved into town 1959 there was an orchard running down a bank to a river – the beginnings of the Avon. So yes we were in Avonhead.
    Very early on a couple of boys were in the orchard getting a bit of fruit as you do. My Step Father squirted them with a hose over the fence -65 years later one of those boys who has been a life long friend still remembers that introduction.

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