Soft Fruit

If you were in any doubt before I think we can all agree now that we can have too much of a ‘good thing’ – in this case rain – as much of Queensland, Victoria and a fair bit of the Eastern coast can testify!

It certainly hasn’t helped our fruit crops either. First we managed to harvest 1 apricot. To quote my old gardening book “Apricots do well when spring and summer are dry …”. The apricot was having one of its quiet years so there wasn’t a mass of fruit to worry about. We actually got the net on the tree before the birds ate everything and then it started to rain. Too much rain as it turned out. The fruit began to split and literally rotted on the tree. In the event we picked and shared the one ripe piece of fruit between us.

Last week I harvested my nectarines. Given the proclivity of the local sulphur crested cockatoos to demolish the fruit just before it ripens, it too had been netted at the first sign of avian interest. Given the disappointment over the apricots I was happy to take a photo of my small but useful harvest of nectarines.

Nec1

Again not a big harvest but enough to add to the homemade breakfast cereal. Three drying trays worth.

Nec3

The weather was perfect for drying over 36 degrees C and those westerly winds blowing as they do to mark the real onset of summer. Off they went to the polyhouse and all was well until we got 100 mm of rain from Wednesday evening to the weekend. But when I went to check on the progress of my fruit today …

Mouldnec

There was no one else to blame but moi! Given that I was languishing inside in front of the fan complaining about the humidity I’m not sure why it never dawned on me to see whether the nectarines felt the same way.

It’s a bit hard to go back to the drawing board with the fruit. This morning I went down and stripped the last dozen or so fruit from the tree and they are currently drying inside my oven. Who knows I might get enough for one batch of cereal.

Necoven

PS there was also another casualty associated with the nectarine harvest. I managed to stand on my blueberry bush (which is quite small). It didn’t survive the impact. So now we are down another plant.

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