Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween, Fruit, Food & Community Garden

Hey everyone, happy Halloween! I've been missing in action but I'm still alive. ;)

Today was the November work party for Cottonwood Community Gardens. I've been assigned kiwi duty so I spent most of my time there. The pruning has been finished for the most part so we've constructed as woodchip path through the area beneath the kiwi arbour and added some compost to fertilize for next year.

I also tried three new fruit today. The first one is called a Fuyu Persimmon. I've noticed dozens of these mid-sized trees across the city which appear to have mini pumpkins dangling from them (the one in the picture has less pronounced ridges than most). These are in fact a hardy variety of persimmon which is only ripe when it has a soft, mushy texture. It tastes like a cross between a pumpkin/squash and a mango. Not too sweet or fibrous, basically just right.

I also tried some tomatillos both raw and fried with butter. Very interesting. Sort of like a sweeter unripe tomato with a lemon twist. These were followed by some small 'grape kiwi' that were about the size of cherry tomatoes. They were delicious and taste just like the larger kiwi but don't have a hairy covering so you can eat them right off the vine. I had both a male and female plant back in Ontario but never ended up getting any fruit.

To finish off the day I'll be making some banana bread. I didn't have baking powder/soda so I'm trying to use yeast and I'll just let it sit for an hour or so. Hopefully it works and I don't end up with some banana brick! I'll upload the recipe and a picture if it turns out.

BTW Does anyone know what this fruit is? EDIT: Barry Parker has determined it's a Common Medlar (Mespilus germanica). Apparently they're one of the few fruits to ripen in winter. It is related to the Loquat which is also hardy in Vancouver.

Also what variety of Ficus is this? I'm thinking a Ficus carica hybrid. I've seen both green and brown figs in Vancouver but nothing with leaves like these. EDIT: Identified by College Gardener as Paper Mulberry (Broussonetia papyrifera).


  1. Hi... The fruit looks like a medlar ( Mespilus germanica).

  2. I think the plant in the last picture might actually be a paper mulberry (Broussonetia papyrifera) rather than a fig...

  3. Neat new things you have gotten to try there! Great work you are doing in the community garden there. I will be curious about how your banana yeast bread worked out! You could be on to something really amazing with this!!! :)

  4. Gosh, you grow lots of things over there that just wouldn't grow here in the UK.
    Nice blog and I've enjoyed reading your older posts too :)

  5. Grape Kiwi's are awesome! It sounds like a good day!

  6. @College Gardener, you got it! Thanks for the help.

    @Julie, unfortunately it didn't work out as well as I planned. It rose about 2/3 as high as would have been best. I only let it sit about 1 hour though. Maybe several or even a day in the fridge in the future?

    @Nutty Gnome, Thanks! I'm glad you've enjoyed it. I heard the southern tip of the UK is quite warm (especially some of the small islands just to the south of the main island).

    @Laura, they really are! I knew they were smaller but thought they were still months away from being ripe. Delicious.

  7. It is looking very fall like in the garden.

  8. Wow - great new fruits to try. Humph, you have so many more interesting things over at Cottonwood!


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