Loquats are Ripening Now

Loquats are one of those fruits where the tree appears in places it was never formally planted. The birds seem to plant most of them. Trees that start as a seedling will have small fruit and can take 8 years until fruiting. Grafted wood from a large fruit variety onto a seedling that is about a half inch diameter stem will produce in about 4 years. The flowers of the loquat are lovely and can turn heads with the sweet smell though the flowers are not showy. They are flowering in the late winter and the fruit is one of the earliest non-citrus to grace your backyard in the year. The leaves are very large, very dark and thick. This is an evergreen so it serves year round as a handsome shrub or small tree. Try tasting one next time you have a chance.

Feijoa = Pineapple Guava

Feijoa, also known as Pineapple Guava and Guavasteen, are one of my favorite fruits. It is great that here in Napa we can grow this guava without protecting it from winter frosts like we have to do with the other guavas. The petals are edible and the fruit is just now starting to drop. It is ripe and is collected from the ground as soon as you can. The texture of the flesh is like a pear but the taste is a cross of a pineapple, a banana and a strawberry. The skin can be eaten or not. It has been an important commercial crop in Australia and New Zealand for 100 years but is hardly known in the states. It is origianally from Central and South America. I love Feijoa.

Australian Finger Limes are just ripening

Finger Limes are getting to be popular. Stop by the farm if you want to try them. People call them "lime caviar" because inside the green/black/pink skin are hundreds of crisp tiny sour vesicles of juicy goodness. The flowers are pink/white and tiny and the leaves are much smaller than other citrus trees have.

It is naturally found in Australia and is very popular with chefs who like it as an attractive garnish for hors d'oeuvres, seafoods esp sushi or added to a salad or a salad dressing for a tangy pop when you bite them.

They are an understory tree or bush and so hot full sun may be too much for them. They need protection from frost so we cover them on the cold nights or they can be placed in a frost free section of your yard with some sun or near the house to benefit from the warmth at night. This is a fun fruit to try.

Pineapple Guava Flowers - Edible Petals

I love the taste of both the flower and the fruit of the Pineapple Guava aka Feijoa. It is often seen as a foundation plant near homes as it is a very nice shrub - keeping it's leaves year round with awesome looking flowers at this time of year. Some have had the plant for years and not tried the fruit. Here's a suggestion - try tasting the flower petals too! Don't go overboard on that though and eat too many or you will not have the fantastic fruit in the fall. I think the fruit tastes like strawberry + pineapple + kiwi. It has a good sour to sweet balance so maybe you will like it if sour is okay with you for fruit. Many people have not tried it but like it when they do. It is such a sweet looking plant too. The thick leaves are whitish on the backside and glossy on the top. Even though it is called a guava it can handle frost and I do not cover it like I do for citrus, avocados, other guavas and bananas. I have a set of trees (bushes) selected to have larger than usual fruit in both round and long versions. Add this to an evergreen edible hedge with citrus, loquats and avocados.