Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Fruit and Vegetable Adventures..

Fruit is a big part of our families diet and it seems we go through so much of it every week. I particularly love eating fruit as the weather gets warmer and enjoy the variety of fruits that are available at this time of the year. The kids and I were particularly surprised to see a yellow seedless watermelon at the grocery shop yesterday, iv never seen a yellow watermelon before. We cut it up for afternoon tea today and it was really nice, I liked that it was a little sweeter than the usual pink watermelon and there seemed to be less of the white rind, so less waste! 

Another fruit that is a little left of centre and a favourite of mine is the pomegranate - growing up, my Nanny Beryl had a pomegranate tree in her backyard and it was always very exciting to pick a ripe pomegranate, have it cut up and pick the little seeds out of it with a teaspoon.  I thought it was great earlier this year when I first noticed Pomegranates at my local Woolworth's, they seemed a lot larger than I remembered and at $4 a pop, I wish I still had that Pomegranate tree!
Other fruit picking memories from my childhood were picking oranges, grapefruits, lemons and macadamia nuts from my Great Granddad's tree's.  Behind his house yard was a gate that lead to an area with lots of these fruit tree's, it was always so much fun to pick the fruit and crack the macadamia nuts in the cracks of the cement with a hammer. Shelling peas out of the pod at my Great Aunts was also a lot of fun, I did this at my Mums the other day and think I ate her whole plant full, so different to the peas you buy out of the frozen section!

In our own backyard we had a loquat tree, mango tree, mulberry tree, peach tree and passion fruit vine. The peach tree never bore much fruit, the peaches were always undersized and the insects got to them before we did, thankfully I didn't like peaches, but I always remember the tree looked so pretty and I was fascinated with the flowers.  Our passion fruit vine was an elaborate affair, growing all over an old hills hoist, I loved the curly tendrils that came off the vine and the gorgeous white and purple flowers that grew all over it, giving shade to a fantastic play area underneath.  Unfortunately our mango tree rotted out and had to be chopped down as did our Mulberry tree, but that was after many years of collecting the squishy purple fruit off of it, getting purple fingers and purple feet.  I haven't had a loquat or mulberry in years!

I now have a macadamia tree growing in my backyard and my kids love to search for the macadamia's that have fallen from the tree and crack them open just as I did as a child.  When we travel up to my parents place, they have a wonderful vegetable garden filled with pumpkins, cherry tomatoes, eggplants, peas,  zucchini, spinach, celery, strawberries and herbs that the kids like to pick with Nanny.  It is such an experience for them to see what plants these fruits grow on and eat something fresh off the tree. It even helped them to eat fruits and vegetables they were unwilling to try before!

I would love to set up a vegetable garden and think that it might be a venture we will have to try in the not too distant future. 

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