Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Fruit and Veg

This morning I popped over to City Garden Country Garden to have a look at her Slow Living Post.  As the name suggests she has a garden in the city and another in the country.  CGCG does an amazing job at growing her own veggies and I love that she charts her progress.  I would like to chart our progress too.

However, CGCG got me to thinking about our success in this area. Those of you who have been following along as we try to make our lives more sustainable will know that we're really starting to get somewhere.  The veggie garden, baking from scratch, breadmaking and food sourcing are going really well.  But when it comes to providing fruit I really struggle!
Most of our veggies come straight from the garden.  Often if I don't have a vegetable for a particular recipe I do without or improvise.  Fruit is a different story.  My kids eat A LOT of fruit!!  Sometimes I think I have bought a week's worth only to turn around two days later and find the fruit bowl empty.  Our trees don't produce enough fruit to make a dent in our consumption at this point.  Most of our fruit trees are still very young.
Now I suppose I could limit the amount of fruit they eat but although I make lots of decisions on behalf of my children, I just don't feel comfortable deciding for another person whether or not they are hungry.  I allow them to graze and encourage them to choose fruit because I know they are not going to get overweight or cause waste rubbish in the process.  Because we cook from scratch there is not a lot of instant food around and fruit fits the bill very well.  We buy fruit at our swap market and are often the lucky recipients of fruit from friends.  Sadly though, most of our fruit comes from the supermarket.  I can't wait until our trees are more mature and we are able to provide more sustainable fruit for our family.  At this point the only constant is rhubarb. We have raspberries and strawberries (sometimes) in spring and summer, we get about fifty or so apples a year, which are gone in a flash, and we have had one solitary orange so far.
We have many trees in our orchard and have also just planted a new orchard to expand our amount and variety. I think we have about twenty fruit trees in all.  It will be a long time before they are producing well though.  I'm also concerned about whether we will be able to keep the water up to them in our dry climate.
Do you manage to grow much fruit?  Are your kids little piggie wiggies too?

9 comments:

purplepear said...

Apart from oranges which we have a plentiful supply of, most of our fruit comes from the organic shop. Summer means raspberries, strawberries and mulberries, which did really poorly last year but seem to be coming on this year. We got a few apples and pears last year but they look more promising this year also. We have nectarines, plums, peaches growing but never had a very good harvest. Hopefully one day. Now if we can just get in before the bats, birds and fruit fly!

Busy mum of 3 said...

Your kids fruit habits are a mirror image of my kids! I buy fruit twice a week, out of sheer necessity! They really only eat 2, maybe 3 pieces a day, but with 3 kids, plus what hubby and I eat, that amounts to 8-13 pieces of fruit per day! It really does add up quickly, with very little effort.

We have a fully productive mandarine tree which does quite well for our citrus supplies for a couple of months of the year, and a lemon tree, which despite being a mere 2 years old has supplied us with a great number of lemons, but that is all. I have planted an orange tree recently which bore us one very awful orange! And just last month I planted a Fig Tree and 3 blueberry bushes.

I have a couple more things on my wish list, but don't forget about watermelons and rockmelons if you can grow them down your way, no tree required.

Bekka Joy said...

This is such a great post. We eat soooo many bananas in a week....something that I don't believe would grow here! And probably 6-8 avocadoes a week...! I'm hoping to attempt growing avocado trees.

We have two very abundant peach trees that give us plenty of fruit... we planted a lime and a plum last year... our neighbours were giving us delicious apples at the beginning of the season...

But our main fruit also comes from the fruit shop, market or supermarket.

Farmer Liz said...

Not yet, but as soon as we have water sorted, we will start planting. I think the problem is that at first you don't get much fruit, so you plant more and more fruit trees, and then suddenly they start to produce more than you can eat! You will be at that point soon I'm sure. Our neighbour was lucky to have trees planted before she moved in and they give us bags of oranges because they can't get through them all!

Meg said...

We mostly buy fruit, particularly bananas. This winter we've been lucky to be able to get oranges and mandarins through a friend who sells them on behalf of an elderly neighbour who grows too many to eat himself. We get yummy, organic citrus, and the elderly man gets a little cash.

Krista said...

I have failed utterly in growing any other fruit but strawberries. Alas, my goats keep getting into my gardens and eating the fruit trees just as fast as they can. Buggers. :-)

Lynn said...

We have lot's of young fruit trees and live in hope that one day we will be able to pick our own with a plentiful supply. Right now though we have lots of lemons and blueberries (if we get them before the birds). We eat seasonally from the local orchards so right now there are lot's of oranges and mandarins in the fridge. Next will be peaches and nectarines from nearby farms and then grapes and apples and pears from not too far away. I have been researching 'sugar' in our diet and now believe we shouldn't be eating too much fruit. Try telling my kids that though, they eat heaps of fruit!

city garden country garden said...

Thanks for mentioning my blog Linda! I've been thinking exactly the same as you, the vegie growing is going really well, but fruit is another story. I have planted 8 fruit trees in the city garden, some of them dwarf varieties, so I'm interested to see how much they produce and whether it will be worth the effort to keep them watered over summer as most are in pots. I buy from a farmgate store and from farmers markets, so I'm happy with the quality and know they are relatively local, but it's not the same!

Have you heard about the Darebin Fruit Squad? They are doing some interesting work in harvesting excess fruit. One of my friends is about to get involved and I believe there may be thoughts about taking the idea to other places. I'll try to find out some more details and email you, perhaps something similar could be set up around your way?

Linda said...

Gee! I am do behind with my commenting. With my little course on top of everything else , it's hard to find time! Thanks for your comments - sounds like I'm not the only one struggling with the fruit issue. Cgcg, the Darebin Fruit Squad sounds interesting. I'd love to know more.