Your Backyard Fruit Bowl – Tamarillos


Written by Anna-Marie Barnes This article was first published in Lifestyle Block New Zealand horticulture has a reputation for turning obscure fruits into success stories. From Chinese gooseberries (now recognised far and wide as kiwifruit) to feijoas, it seems we can take a species little-known outside of its native range, cultivate it successfully in our amenable climate, make it a domestic favourite, and then more often than not, turn it into star on the international stage. The tamarillo, Cyphomandra betacea (syn. Solanum betaceum), formerly known as the tree tomato, or ‘arbol de tomate’ in Spanish, fits neatly into this category. My first [...]

Your Backyard Fruit Bowl – Tamarillos2022-11-21T14:31:21+13:00

Your Backyard Fruit Bowl – Loquats


Written by Anna-Marie Barnes This article was first published in Lifestyle Block You’ve probably heard gardeners and self-sufficiency enthusiasts talk wistfully about the ‘hungry gap’ as winter turns to spring. In terms of fruit and vegetable production, the late winter and early spring months can be deceptively sparse, as the cold-weather crops finish or bolt to seed and the new-season crops are in their infancy. This is particularly applicable to the fruit crops – citrus has its heyday and then declines, rhubarb fills a gap, then the early strawberries pop in, but the hefty summer crops of stonefruit and berries are still [...]

Your Backyard Fruit Bowl – Loquats2022-11-21T14:31:16+13:00

Your Backyard Fruit Bowl – Rhubarb


Written by Anna-Marie Barnes This article was first published in Lifestyle Block Rhubarb and patience can work wonders – German proverb When is a fruit not a fruit? When it’s a vegetable, of course! A vegetable, you say? In botanical terms, rhubarb is indeed a vegetable, as it is the herbaceous stem portion that we cook and eat, as opposed to its actual fruit, which by strict definition is the ‘mature, ripened ovary of a plant, including the contents of the ovary’. Conversely, this means that many things we term vegetables are actually fruits – think the squash-pumpkin family, and nightshades such [...]

Your Backyard Fruit Bowl – Rhubarb2022-11-21T14:31:07+13:00

Your Backyard Fruit Bowl – Beyond the Meyer lemon


Written by Anna-Marie Barnes This article was first published in Lifestyle Block I’d like to survey every backyard in New Zealand, from Cape Reinga to Bluff, and count up all the lemon trees. I reckon you’ll find one more often than not, and chances are those trees will usually be the ubiquitous stalwart of the hardy citrus tribe, the Meyer lemon, and not without good reason. The section I grew up on sported a very large, very old Meyer. Upwards of forty years old and a good five metres in diameter, the tree formed a centrepiece in our garden, and my mother [...]

Your Backyard Fruit Bowl – Beyond the Meyer lemon2022-11-21T14:30:15+13:00

Your Backyard Fruit Bowl – The Humble Choko


Written by Anna-Marie Barnes This article was first published in Lifestyle Block This month, it’s time for something completely different as we step away from the ordinary and take a look at the much-maligned but eager-to-please choko. You may or may not have heard of this strange pear-shaped “is it a fruit, is it a vegetable?” Those in New Zealand’s northern climes are perhaps more likely to be familiar with this outlandish member of the Cucurbitaceae or gourd family. Maturing in late autumn to early winter, and with good storage potential, it is a handy substitute for cucumbers and zucchini in the [...]

Your Backyard Fruit Bowl – The Humble Choko2022-11-21T14:29:55+13:00



Written by Anna-Marie Barnes This article was first published in Lifestyle Block 10 year old espaliered Fuyu persimmon at harvest, Nelson region. Photo: A & B Phillips.                     Your Backyard Fruit Bowl – Persimmons May is the peak season for fresh persimmons in New Zealand, with supermarket shelves and market stalls now laden with this increasingly-popular fruit, which looks somewhat like a squat miniature pumpkin-tomato hybrid.  As a home garden specimen tree, the persimmon offers not only a plentiful source of fruit heading in to the winter months, but also a [...]


Table Grapes


Written by Anna-Marie Barnes This article was first published in Lifestyle Block Your Backyard Fruit Bowl – Table Grapes In a land where wine grape-producing vineyards are a dime a dozen, if you mention table grapes to the average New Zealander, their thoughts will likely settle on the large bunches of majestic-looking but rather tasteless imported fruit to be found in supermarket chillers year-round. But if we cast our memories back, many of us can probably remember a sprawling vine tucked in a corner of our grandparents’ section or running along the fence line of a childhood home. Nothing screams autumn [...]

Table Grapes2022-11-21T14:29:10+13:00

The world’s smallest apple


The world's smallest apple at last nearly marketed...  

The world’s smallest apple2014-08-14T20:39:52+12:00
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