Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

A lot of us got excited when what looked like a mini version of the prolific Peppino (Solanum muricatum) was obtained by Rob from Fair Dinkum Seeds.

The plant grew like a weed and readily produced small marble-like green fruit.

Unfortunately the initial promise has not been realised as these fruit remain hard marbles after months of hanging from the branches. Perhaps this is why Fair Dinkum Seeds no longer sell them? I'm still curious to see how long the fruits will actually take to ripen so will not compost yet but even if they finally do ripen and taste okay the harvest versus growing time really make it more of a curiosity then a viable food  producer.   

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Comment by Mary-Ann Baker on August 31, 2016 at 21:27

The ones we had were already peeled and served with fried ice cream so dont know about the skin - and yes we have trellised ours ( or at least they grow beside the trellis but arent big enough to reach the bottom wire yet ! but then we grow our squash and tomatoes etc on a trellis to stop the fruit touching the ground though the chillacoyotes and trombone zuchhini get a bit heavy and tend to grow through the wire so you have to cut them out Elaine you are so right I need Patience 

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on August 31, 2016 at 21:14

This is just speculation … not grown the mini Peps but have grown the regular ones. Pepinos like the warm weather. I'm surmising that come warmer days your fruit will ripen. Some fruit hang about for months (my Canistel a case in point) Paw Paws although some ripen in the winter, most start to ripen once the weather warms.

Growing plants and especially food plants tests ones patience.

Comment by Rob Collings on August 31, 2016 at 20:51

Thanks!, It's great to know that someone has actually eaten and enjoyed he fruit Mary-Ann. How tough and yellow were the skins on the ripe ones you tried? Mine seem to be taking forever and a little longer.

Comment by Mary-Ann Baker on August 31, 2016 at 17:15

ours are still hard the size of a marble and have been on the vine for 7 weeks now - they are just starting to turn a little yellow - hat a long slow process. have eaten them in Mexico and they were really delicious so heres hoping ! 

Comment by Rob Collings on July 31, 2016 at 18:12

For the first time in a very long time, some of the fruit have changed appearance.

Due to waiting soooo long, I'm not going to give in yet (I was writing them off to Phil just last week).

The one on the left is still in original state (10 weeks plus)

The one on the right is now has purple stripes rather than dark green. I' not keen on eating them until their ripe due to the whole cousin of deadly nightshade, tomato thing. I bit into one of the purple stripe ones. Unlike the fully unripe ones, this berry shows the beginnings of sweetness and flavour, not bitter, tough skin at the moment, which makes me suspect that the ripping process is still in play.

The plants in container, and growbed show up their greedy side for nutrients, minerals and root space as the surrounding plants begin to show sings of deficiency. The ones in the soil do not seem to effect the surrounding plants as much.

Maybe flowers ripening at this time of the year will form riper fruit sooner, but I think ripe fruit are actually coming now, slowly.

The way the fruit hang, indicate that it may be better suited to climbing, although the branches are more shapable than a tomato's.

If the fruit ripen and taste all right, I might use it as a climbing screen for the shed's western wall.... but that's all.

Comment by Lissa on July 31, 2016 at 15:54

I ended up cutting my plant right back as it was sucking the life out of useful plants around it. It may come back. Very curious to see if the fruit ever ripen and are nice eating.

Susan - I pulled out most of my Pepino. I really like them but they take up a lot of space and give no viable fruit during the warm weather due to FF. Maybe you'll have better luck.

Comment by Susan on July 31, 2016 at 15:25

I've yet to have any pepino's off a cutting from Lissa ages ago - but I might have flowers so am hopeful

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