with Trish and Nigel Middleton
It is April and the season of “mists and mellow fruitfulness” is in full swing. Autumn is a wonderful season bringing relief as the temperature drops and it becomes a little easier to sleep again.
The soil is moist and our seedlings are enjoying the mild weather. It is a great time to get those winter crops established before the cooler winter months are upon us.
At Two Spoons we have been eagerly awaiting feijoa season. It always seems way too short. A couple of years ago we planted three feijoa trees (two varieties) in the garden, with great expectations. As with most fruit trees it takes a couple of years for them to establish, grow and increase fruiting. This year is looking good and we’ve been taking extra care to keep them nourished and watered over summer.
Pick a sunny spot in the garden to plant your feijoa trees. They can handle windy locations (which make them a great option as a hedge) as well as winter cold. You could also grow them in containers such as half barrels. Feijoas grow in most soils from clay to sandy but they are most at home in rich soil with well-rotted organic material that helps to hold onto the moisture without becoming water-logged. You should water in summer if long dry periods occur. You can prune your plants to improve their shape any time and hedges can be trimmed hard after harvest but this will interrupt fruiting for a season.
Fruit ripen in autumn and winter depending on variety. They fall when ripe, alternatively you can pick fruit individually by hand but make sure that they are soft by applying a gentle squeeze first.
Once picked, feijoas will become sweeter after a day or so – if they last that long!
Raw chia seed jam
This is not your traditional jam recipe. It is refined sugar free, uncooked and the chia seeds thicken the mixture while adding a burst of nutrition in every bite. You will need:
Two cups of feijoa pulp
Juice of a lemon (1/4 cup approx)
2 Tbsp chia seeds
2 Tbsp manuka honey (optional and you can add more to suit your taste)
Place fruit pulp, lemon juice and honey into a blender and blend. Stir in chia seeds and place into sterilised jars. Place in the fridge to set. The chia seed with absorb the liquid and thicken the jam. Keep refrigerated and it should last up to two weeks.
Chia is a fantastic source of nutrition for vegan, gluten-free and raw diets. You can even use chia as an egg replacement in your baking by allowing it to gel with a little water.
At Two Spoons we love using backyard home grown produce (especially if its spray-free), so if you do have any to spare we will happily exchange for coffee.