It was the most amazing day for a visit to Daley's. I managed to drag my butt out of bed at 5:15 and was on the road by 5:45 to start the journey. Google maps told me it would be 2hrs and 15 min via lions road. "Perfect" I thought. Macca's stop for coffee, toilet break when I'm almost there because of said coffee and I would still arrive at 9 am (You read that correctly and I can add up -Stupid daylight savings time). Plenty of time for me to stop in Kyogle and grab something to eat and head on out to Daleys and actually be on time for once :)
Well, all was going well until I hit innisplain road and saw the first sign that the road was closed ahead, 5 min into trip (obviously was daydreaming cause I missed the first one at the turnoff). Took another 5 min to find somewhere to turn around. Back onto Mt Lindsay highway and alternative route that was going to take an extra 20 min on top of the time already spent stuffing around with wrong turns. As it was, I made it right on 9:30!! Yay me - I was also first one there for once and the drive through Mt Lindsay national park was just draw droppingly gorgeous that I could not resent the extra time.
We started with a wander through their Biodome. Here's the link for you if you want a video tour.
Daley's Biodome I have included pictures of soursop, jackfruit and guava but they had almost any subtropical fruit you could think of in there.
We then were taken through the hoop houses where they raise their seedlings, cuttings and have seemingly endless rows of healthy plants waiting to be shipped off. The shear numbers give you an idea of how much their online business does. For every plant we see available online, there are dozens and dozens in various stages of readiness waiting. Rhondda discovered this today. There was no vanilla bean available in their nursery, she asked nicely and the lady went and got her one. It was only later as we were doing the tour with Andre, that he let it slip that they have a waiting list of 600 for the vanilla pod.. Ooops :) Our next stop was the exclusion orchard - my favourite part. One of the reasons I make the drive out is that Andre lets us eat all the fruit we want :) and every time I have found a new fruit to love and covet. I have a new love...
This delightful little morsel is called the Kwai Muk - richmond. It is tangy but sweet. Everyone loved it today. Cathie immediately added one to her pile to bring home with her, I have put it on my "to get when I find room" list.
Another reason I love our visits is because I get to hang out with people who love this stuff as much as I do. When I spied these figs just waiting to be eaten, nobody blinked an eye when I squealed at the top of my lungs in excitement like my niece at her Ed Sheeran concert and ran to the tree stopping only long enough to take this photo. Franc held down long branches of longans and picked handfuls for us all, which we scoffed down like little kids and everyone had to try the peanut butter tree. This was my "Love" from last visit and as I have my first flowers, I graciously declined to eat the few fruits so the others could try. I know, I know, I'm just generous like that :)
I found walking onions in the nursery and everyone got just as excited as I did and we bought all they had available. Sophie, Cathie and Rhondda all walked away with some bargain avocado's and a whole bunch of other stuff. Me, I showed remarkable restraint. I got my pink Iona grape, the walking onions, lemon verbena, galangal and I could not resist one more buy.
We all know how I love my mandarins. I have Afourer, satsuma, emporer, imperial (all grafted) and a seedling variety called Parramatta sweets from Jerry Colby Williams. WELL. I saw another variety called Green pigeon. According to Daley's - "An excellent old seedling variety from the hills near Kyogle. Loose skin and easy to peal, the flavour is similar an Emperor. Seed grown." Could not resist.
I'm sure the others will have some other photo's to add to this. Thanks Sophie and Franc for organising, it was wonderful. As I am almost, but not quite, on holidays, I have all my recent purchases from last weekend and this waiting to be planted. CANNOT WAIT!!!!
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