Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a courtyard garden. Which edibles will tolerate less than ideal growing conditions. Discovering how veggies can grow in partial shade.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tropical Edibles

 Regular readers will know that 'Matron doesn't do flowers!'.. so relax because this is a young pomegranate growing in the Jardim Botanico in Madeira.  There is a whole section devoted to agricultural tropical fruit and veggies.
 You can see that when the flower is pollinated...
 It gradually grows into something I would recognize as a baby pomegranate.
 And coffee beans on bushes here can be recognized too.
 One of the big surprises to me was seeing how Macademia Nuts grow.  An ENORMOUS evergreen tree towering above us with clusters of these little green fruit.
 The green outer skin hardens to brown then splits.  Inside the brown skin is a hard brown nut. Inside the hard, round nut is the macademia nut.  You have to be a most determined squirrel to get into one of these, but still there were plenty of empty nut shells on the ground with tell tale holes nibbled in them!
And these delicious 'Custard Apples' are growing everywhere on the Island of Madeira. Known and sold locally as Anonas, the texture is a bit like a very soft, white mango, but tastes like a cross between an apple and vanilla custard! If you've never tried one, go to a specialist shop and buy one. Just make sure they are nice and ripe first!


At 2:13 PM, Blogger VirginiaC said...

I have been hearing about custard apples as a child growing up, but I have never tasted one of them...maybe it's time that I did. They sound absolutely delicious. Maybe you can save some of the seeds and try them back at the allotment.

At 6:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matron, the macadamia nuts are also a main diet item in the Hyacynith Macaw diet. Those vice like beaks come in very handy. I loved the baby pompegranite

At 7:44 PM, Blogger Nicole said...

It all looks very delicious!

At 12:11 AM, Blogger Peggy said...

Hi matron, good to see you back blogging albeit from the sunny isle of Madiera.It is fascinating to see such an array of fresh fruit and veg at this time of year. We are off sunny? Copenhagan tomorrow to sample the Christmas market for a long weekend.
Wishing you a happy & Peaceful Christmas as I may not be on here before then

At 9:18 PM, Anonymous Liz said...

It's always fascinating to see tropical plants growing. In Cuba last year I was fascinated to see bananas and pineapples growing as staple crops! :)

At 9:34 PM, Anonymous LJ said...

The Custard Apple is also known as a Cherimoya (I believe that might be the South American term, but the tree is Annona cherimola). Such a wonderfully delicious fruit! I live in the US and have special ordered them from California. What a treat!


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