Be Prepared, Be Empowered – Get Growing – organically of course!

Further to my last article, (click here to read Part 1 now) where I strongly encourage people to take control of their food security and get growing NOW, I have compiled an extensive list of edibles, including new varieties to many of you possibly. The most important thing is to just grow as much food as possible. Every inch of soil is an opportunity to increase your food supply.

This list includes my favourite fruiting plants, mostly trees, to grow. Some of them will take years to fruit so bare that in mind. If you are thinking you don’t have space for fruit trees, smaller varieties are achieved by growing trees grown on dwarf grafts, pruning to keep smaller, espaliered or grow in large pots.

Having such a wet summer it is a good time to get trees planted as the rain will settle them in. Check growing conditions and growth habits of trees before ordering and make sure you have an appropriate space. Trees don’t like ‘wet feet’ so make sure there is good drainage. Before and after planting, give trees a good water of seaweed and mulch – add 6cm of wood chips or hay mulch around the tree but not to the trunk.

Trees like Acerola cherry, Grumichama and Jaboticaba have the bonus of fruiting several times a year or have a long fruit season, that provides a continuous source of fruit. Many of the fruit trees have several varieties, you need to do some research into the best match for your taste buds.

COMMON FRUIT TREES Avocado, Banana, Blueberry, Citrus –cumquats, lemons, lime, mandarin, grapefruit, oranges, lemonade, and Kaffir lime (leaves), Fig, Mango, Mulberry – black, red, and white varieties, Passionfruit vine, Paw Paw, and Raspberry (good to grow in a pot to contain).

13 LESSER-KNOWN FRUIT TREES FOR OUR CLIMATE. Many of these have fascinating fruit habits like growing fruit on the trunk of the tree. Some of these trees have several common names – for those plants I have included their botanical name to avoid confusion. All are hardy trees.

(L) Jaboticaba tree (R) Brazilian cherry tree

1) Acerola cherry sny Barbados cherry Malpighia emarginate is very high in Vitamin c.

2) Brazilian cherry Eugenia uniflora

3) Cedar bay cherry Eugenia reinwardtiana

4) Dragon fruit (climber)

5) Grumichama Eugenia brasiliensis,

6) Jackfruit – high in protein

7)  Jaboticaba Plinia cauliflora,

8)  Malabar chestnut tree

9)  Monstera deliciosa plant (referred as fruit salad plant)

10) Panama berry tree  Muntingia calabura kids love this sweet caramel tasting fruit

11) Sapote – black or white

12) Star fruit – Carambola

13) Soursop

This list should give you plenty of homework and incentive to start growing your own and it is not difficult. There are many other fruit trees you can grow on your land.

NATIVES There is so much to learn about native and bushfood plants that are edible, medicinal, cook in and wildcraft. Here are a small sample of some.

  • Finger limes
  • Macadamia nut tree
  • Midyim berry (low growing)
  • Myrtle trees – lemon, cinnamon, or aniseed, use the leaves
  • Native hibiscus
  • Native raspberry
  • Native rosella
  • Peanut tree Sterculia quadrifida (eat the seeds)
  • Wax Jambu – Rose apple Syzygium javanicum and my absolute favourite, often people grow these and don’t realise they are edible – so delicious and crunchy. Fast grower.

Remember to share your excesses with neighbours, friends, community, and those in need. Also preserve, bottle, sauce, dehydrate and barter.

Leonie Shanahan

Author of Eat Your Garden – Organic Gardening for home and schools, and Lyme disease Sucks.