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.