Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Following the first blog, here is the almost-final chapter.

These whatever-they-are variety of seedless Persimmons ripen almost all at once. They look green on the tree, one or two fall off minus their calyx which sits forlornly on the branch. That is the cue to pick the lot. Seceteurs or similar are needed, the very short stem is quite tough.

They sat in their styrene box on the lounge-room floor and day by day we picked 4 to go with our breakfast fruit salad. Suddenly instead of a few turning yellow, practically the lot did in the last day.

We had an almost-midnight persimmon party ... remove the calyx, wash the skins, crack in half, scoop out with a teaspoon.

Then one half cup was measured out into each bag - total of 18 bags. The bags, instead of as previously, tediously labelling each one, were loaded into one labelled big bag. Quite a time saving.

The results are several kilos of fruit, no fruit-fly; just a few started to grow whiskers where the skin cracked and a mould flew by and landed. I doubt the absence of fruit fly is because of the fantastic soil the tree is growing in! More like the skins are too tough even for a fruit fly. As well, picking them green would help although none of the fruit developed anything more sinister than a few spots of mould.

Although the tree is grafted and I bought it from a regular retail nursery, it’s actual variety is not known. The graft produces some green shoots as do the roots, I break these off. It’s a bit of a pest but a lot of grafted plants have their little foibles and the fruit from this tree is well worth a bit of fussing.

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Comment by Elaine de Saxe on January 22, 2010 at 14:07
Please post that recipe! My attempts at various kinds of ice cream have been notable by their failures. Icy, tasteless - you name it, it probably tasted like that. The most edible so far has been just frozen fruit puree but that is not ice cream!

Midnight - well I'm a night owl you know - my email handle is coolowl ;-).
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on January 22, 2010 at 13:38
Florence, it would be just a standard one - the dwarfs were not around at the time - I've had it in the ground around 7 years and it would have been at least 1 to 2 years old since it was grafted when I got it.

No you don't need a dwarf for an espalier but the standards are quite vigorous and there's extra pruning. So on reflection, if there's a dwarf which appeals, get that if only to reduce the prunings. Being someone with duck's disease (backside too close to the footpath) having the top row of the espalier almost out of reach is not the best, meaning I need to keep the tree much shorter than it would like although that's a lot of what espalier is about - making the plant do what you want.

Looked at the offerings from Daleys just now - nothing really rings any bells with the description.

As with any commercial fruit bought from a retailer, the flavour just can't compete from what comes from your own trees.
Comment by Florence on January 22, 2010 at 10:59
Check out Daleys ~ they have quite a few varieties there ~

Just wondering Elaine, is yours a dwarf or standard grafted? Do you have to get a dwarf for espalier?

Yeah sure Donna, not sure when I will get it though.. there's a baby passionfruit vine where I am considering a persimmon.. try buying a persimmon first though, they are available in supermarkets & fruit markets when in season :)
Comment by Donna on January 22, 2010 at 10:51
Florence, can you please keep me updated with what you decide - I have never had persimmon but based on Elaine's success (and espalier too!) I think I need a persimmon tree too!
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on January 21, 2010 at 17:13
Update: thought to find more info on the variety by reading Wiki - lots of info (most unknown) worth a read if only for general interest:
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on January 21, 2010 at 14:08
Well, it's many years since I ate an astringent Persimmon and I don't remember what difference there was. With the tree I have here, the fruit are fairly tasteless until they are fully ripe and the skin is as tough as. It's very difficult to peel so from every angle, it's best to eat the fruit fully ripe. Other non-astringent varieties might be different. If it's any use as a pointer to what variety it might be, it is totally seedless and has never produced a seed. Not a good outcome for the tree, but saves a heap of time when preparing the fruit and saves a lot of spitting when eating.
Comment by Florence on January 21, 2010 at 12:28
*envy*!! I still haven't decided whether to get astringent or non-astringent variety yet… I like to eat them soft, and I’ve read that astringent varieties are sweeter, but non-astringent varieties have the option of eating crisp and my dad likes them either way… um… any suggestions? I saw non-stringent at Bunnings the day before .. forgot what variety though…
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on January 21, 2010 at 12:11
Bit of both Scarlett but mostly here today, gone tomorrow leaves ;-) Addy I hadn't thought of cooking the fruit! Usually with produce from the garden we eat it as it comes either cooked (say, Potatoes) or raw (everything else including Corn). It seems awful to cook fresh produce (unless you've got to) and worse to put sauces on - like if you've just caught a fish, dousing it in Tartare sauce is a crime, same with the fruits of garden labours. A touch of salt, a bit of lemon but with fruit - just eat as it comes :-)
Comment by Addy on January 21, 2010 at 11:53
You are going to enjoy your harvest for many days! Perssimon icecream, persimmon jelly, persimmon coulis...yum!
Comment by Scarlett on January 21, 2010 at 11:41
excellent :) I look forward to ours showering us with fruit too. Plus it's a very pretty and seasonally interesting tree I reckon. Do you get autumn colour on yours or do the leaves just drop?

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