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First Fruits from our Little Orchard

When we moved here in October last year, we wandered through the young fruit trees planted around the property taking guesses at the varieties and what kinds of fruit we might be enjoying in the years to come. There are no labels on these trees, we have a list from the previous owners but there are several areas of planting so no specifics about exactly what is where.

It's an exciting waiting game. The first few months over summer saw peaches, plums and some apples but crops were few and far between as the property had pretty much been in the hands of birds and possums for at least 12 months previous. As soon as we spotted the first blush of ripeness on a peach or an apple came close to chomping size, the fruit would disappear or remnants would be left hanging after midnight feasts.

Our priority has been all about the indoors initially so we've been pretty relaxed about observing the growth as the seasons change and provide us with the full picture. Action has been taken on a few of those resident possums however. It became all too much when, on a couple of nights we came face to face with the wide eyed furry rat bags within a metre or two, casually perched in our peach tree, practically grinning at us!

Since then we've had less fruity remains left as evidence and now the autumnal crops are providing sweet inspiration at our table. Figs and pears are growing fat and juicy, which recently made an awesome combo for lunch in the middle of a hot lawn mowing, weed clearing session.
Fresh figs gently grilled, crispy fried Grinning Gecko halloumi cheese, thin slices of pear, toasted hazelnuts and almonds finished with a dressing of Kare manuka honey, Evergreen lemon infused olive oil and Due North tamarillo vinegar. We piled this on top of a piece of Vogels toast which mopped up the sweet and savoury juices perfectly.

With our bellies replete, contented smiles were hard to erase as we headed back out to more garden wrangling...