New Zealand Woman’s Weekly - - GARDEN -

Ifind it dif­fi­cult to un­der­stand how you could pre­fer a smoothie to a glass of Cham­pagne, but that’s blokes for you. The Part­ner has been a smoothie fan for the past cou­ple of years, since we bought him a food pro­ces­sor for his birth­day.

He’s since be­come a cre­ative builder of smooth­ies and while they’re not as good as Cham­pagne, you can at least drink them for break­fast.

At this time of year, our gar­den is full of fruit – lemons, limes, tan­ge­los, man­darins, ki­wifruit and lo­quats, and while we’ve al­ways been blasé about the cit­rus, we’re newly in love with the lo­quats.

We have two trees, both self-seeded from who knows where, and the fruit are yel­low or orange and taste like a cross be­tween a peach and a mango.

And the trees them­selves are re­ally good-look­ing – ev­er­green with large, well-shaped leaves, white flow­ers and a sweet, heady fra­grance that can ap­par­ently be smelled from quite a dis­tance un­less, as we do, you live next door to a herd of cat­tle who pro­duce quite a dif­fer­ent aroma.

As it turns out, our lo­quats have planted them­selves in ideal con­di­tions. They like to be warm, shel­tered, pro­tected from frost when young and planted in well-drained soil. They’re not greedy, so you could fer­tilise them maybe once a year. But ours have never been fer­tilised and they pro­duce so much fruit, we can hap­pily share it with the birds.

We eat them fresh off the tree, and in smooth­ies and fruit sal­ads, and one day I’ll have time to make lo­quat jam. Per­haps when I’m 85.

This ne­glected, un­fer­tilised lo­quat tree pro­duces more than enough fruit for us and the birds.

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