Discovering a hidden haven in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria, Australia

Posts tagged ‘fruit’

Berry Bath Surprise!

About three years ago we planted  an old iron bathtub with a couple of unlabeled raspberry canes. In the first couple of years they didn’t do too much, but they did produce a few new canes.  Last year we added fresh organic matter to the bath and planted some strawberries in there too, figuring there was lots of room.

Well, the raspberries exploded with lush new  growth and blocked out the sun from the strawberries, so I thought that was the end for the stawbs. As raspberries are my favourite fruit I wasn’t too upset. After all, it was New Year and I had a bumper crop of raspberries to enjoy!

The berry bath

Well, the fresh raspberries are long gone and the canes were starting to look tired, so after doing a little reading on caring for raspberries,  I carefully pruned off the two year old spent canes a couple of weeks ago. I also gave the remaining plants a good drink of ‘worm tea’ for the heck of it, figuring it might be a good tonic as they headed towards dormancy for the year. I noted that the strawberry plants were looking quite healthy and had even managed a couple of buds, but didn’t think much more of it.

But a couple of days ago – after confirming that my tomatoes still weren’t ripe (yikes – it’s April!) – I glanced around at the old bathtub.

To my great surprise I saw this…

The raspberry canes have lots of new buds!

And this…

The strawberries are blooming happily and producing fruit!

My brief research has only turned up summer or autumn fruiting varieties of raspberry so far, so if anyone has any clues about a variety that fruits twice in a year (this is the first time they have done it, but the plant is only three years old) I’d be very interested to learn more!

Stawberries that are happy to be neglected.

…I’m just a bit worried now that the plants that are performing best in my garden are the ones that I am not paying attention to!

For the love of Raspberries

It’s no secret to anyone that I know that I love raspberries.  Sadly my little crop is coming to the end for the year. We started a couple of years ago growing one lonely little cane in a massive old bathtub with lots of well-rotted organic stuff. Well, the one cane has already become many and we are scheming more areas of the garden to devote to raspberries as the bathtub is now overflowing.

Over summer we supplement our little crop with a visit to a local organic

The last of the raspberries ripening

berry farm where we pick lots to eat and some to freeze. My favourite way to eat raspberries is fresh, but I also love this very simple raspberry cordial recipe.

Raspberry Cordial

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

300 grams fresh raspberries

You can add the juice of a couple of lemons if you like a ‘tarter’ taste

Heat the water and sugar gently until the sugar dissolves then bring to the boil. Add the raspberries and return to the boil slowly stirring and gently mashing the raspberries. Cool. Strain, gently pushing the pulp through a sieve, but not so hard as to push through the seeds too. Mix with water to taste and drink! This cordial doesn’t last long in our house, but as it has no preservatives I’d suggest only keeping it for a few days anyway.  So simple but sooooo much yummier than the stuff you buy from the supermarket!

A gratuitous rose photo - Pierre de Ronsard