Small Harvests

Quite often when you start growing food in your garden you wonder if you will ever get enough from the plant to do something useful with. Berries in particular have this annoying habit of not all ripening at once! My first resort was to eat the berries because yum! but it kind of defeats the purpose of growing your own food so you don’t have get it from the supermarket if you are just continually grazing so what do you do?

I have found this is where my freezer or dehydrator come into play. The freezer is an easy option as you can put the berries (or other produce) into a snap lock bag and add to your stash over time as the fruit ripens. Eventually you will get enough to do something with. You can use frozen fruit in jams, smoothies, icecreams and sorbets.

Depending on what fruit or produce you are talking about, if I happen to have the dehydrator going I will add things to the trays if there is space but you do have to make sure that what you are drying will not taint anything else that is drying – onion flavoured strawberries are not a winner! Similarly, I find the dehydrator is a great way to deal with citrus when a recipe calls for only the juice. I pop the rind in the dehydrator and add to my dried stash that I use for spice mixes and general flavour boosts.

How do you deal with your small harvests?

Citrus Trees and Possum Wars

Citrus do very well in Brisbane and we have several trees in our garden including a Fruit Salad Tree (one tree with a graft each of Lemon, Orange and Pomello), two Navel Oranges, a Patio Lime and a Tahitian Lime. For our tips on growing, harvesting and storing citrus check out our Citrus Tips & Ideas Sheet. The Tips & Ideas Sheet also contains suggestions for ways to use your beautiful homegrown produce like my recipe for Lemon Pepper Chicken and my grandmother’s Orange Cake recipe.

Normally at this time we would be drowning in citrus but the local possum population has been on the increase and because the 2IC was tardy about getting the trees netted they managed to eat most of the blossoms at the crucial time #sadface. The delightful little critters have also been doing quality control on the fruit that did make it through the blossom harvest and we have had quite a few hollowed out oranges left on the tree. War has been declared and hubby is currently building a citrus enclosure. I suspect the possums will manage to get in but wont be able to get out! They will be fine though as there will be plenty to eat!!

Potential possum enclosure

Update from our neighbour Pete, the possum may have met it’s match! WARNING and SPOILER ALERT: DO NOT WATCH THE VIDEO IF YOU HAVE A MORBID FEAR OF SNAKES!!! Thanks for the video Pete.

Rumour has it that Pete has not used his bar and BBQ area since …..