Are you feeling sad that you missed out on fruit trees?
Don’t worry, you have one last chance to buy some!
Luckily, it’s still the right time to be planting fruit trees in your garden – but only just. The buds on the peach trees have definitely started to swell, so it’s time they were in the ground at their forever homes.
Carr’s Organic Fruit Tree Nursery is making a surprise appearance at the Castlemaine Farmers Market Weekly today, with the VERY LAST of this year’s fruit trees. We’ll be at the co-op stall, alongside the usual delicious vegies, milk, and yoghurt.
We had a brilliant year in the nursery (thank you so much if you bought trees from us), so there are hardly any leftovers.
But the last few need to go to good homes, so prices will be very reasonable (from $10 to $25 for most trees).
Here’s what’s left (but there’s only 1 or two of most varieties, so if you want a particular variety, please get to the market early).
- ANZAC (white): Heritage white flesh peach, semi-clingstone, juicy with fair flavour, low acid. A lovely early season peach that needs to be handled gently because it bruises easily. Self-fertile.
- PEACHERINE (yellow): Peacherine is a cross between a peach and a nectarine. Dark orangey-red skin that is much smoother than other peaches, but slightly coarser than most nectarines. Appearance and flesh is more nectarine-like than peach-like, but with less of a melting quality to the flesh. Freestone, self-fertile.
- ROB’S (yellow): A chance seedling bred in Bendigo, Rob’s peach bears large, yellow-flesh peaches with dark red skin. Flavour is sweet, mild, juicy, and melting. Self-fertile.
- REDTOP (yellow): Yellow flesh, medium to large peach, mainly red skin with yellow background. Good flavour, sweet and slightly acid. Freestone, self-fertile.
- TATURA 211 (clingstone): Mid season clingstone from Tatura, Victoria. Medium-sized fruit, deep orange skin and firm deep orange flesh. Sweet, excellent for bottling, eating, stewing. Ripens late Jan-early Feb in Harcourt (weeks before Golden Queen). Self-fertile.
- WIGGINS (white): Heritage, white-flesh peach. Creamy skin with a pinky-red blush and stripes, quite similar in appearance to Fragar. Fruit can be quite large, very juicy, and are sweet, and delicious, with the more complex and interesting flavour characteristic of heritage varieties. They also bruise very easily and need careful handling. Self-fertile.
- GOLDMINE (white): Heritage white nectarine with very thin skin that gets a red colour over a greenish background that turns cream colour as it ripens. Freestone, skin marks very easily (e.g. by rain). Absolutely delicious if tree-ripened, but care must taken not to pick too early as it can be difficult to ripen well off the tree. Self-fertile.
- LE GRAND (yellow): The fruit can be quite large in size and is yellow with streaks of orangey-red. The flesh itself is yellow to orange with a little red next to the stone area. It has a yummy taste, sweet and slightly acid, and a firm texture. Ripens mid to late season (early March)
- NEWBOY (white): White flesh nectarine. A variety that has quite thin skin which is creamy white with a red blush. Fragrant white flesh, good flavour if ripened on the tree. Self-fertile. Ripens early.
- ANNA: low-chill variety, very early season, Late December to January in this district. Large, Red Delicious style, a red apple with an incomplete blush, green background colour. Good flavour. Diploid. Flowers too early for most other apple trees, therefore best to grow with a Dorsett Golden, which is another Israeli-bred apple which flowers very early. Other possibilities that may flower at the same time include Hyslop (crab), H. purpurea (crab).
- BRABRANT BELLEFLEUR: Bellefleur means “beautiful flower”, so this tree will be a beautiful addition to your garden in spring. This variety is mostly known as a cooker, but can be quite eaten fresh as well. Fruit is red striped, crisp, and aromatic. Stores very well. Harvest is very late, April to May. Diploid. Should be pollinised by Dabinett, Democrat, King of the Pippins, Michelin, Peasgood Nonesuch, or some crab apples.
- BRAMLEY: A heritage English apple well known as an excellent cooker due to its tartness and propensity to fluff up when cooked. Large, flat to intermediate shape, can be rectangular or irregular. They have greenish yellow skin which gets a faint stripe. Firm yellowish flesh, very acid. Triploid variety, which means it needs to be planted with two other varieties that flower at the same time, as it cannot act as a pollen donor. Other early flowering varieties include Abas, Irish Peach, Lord Lambourne, McIntosh, Red Braeburn, Vista Bella, Yarlington Mill. Ripens mid-season.
- COX (dwarf): Ripens late Feb – early March in Harcourt. Prized English eating variety. Medium sized apple, yellowish skin flushed orange with faint stripes and russeting. Tender, crisp yellow flesh, very sweet and juicy, slightly subacid, aromatic, great flavour. Apparently you can hear the seeds rattle when they’re ripe. Cox’s are a triploid type apple, which means they tend to be self-sterile, and cannot pollinise other varieties. They are pollinised by Granny Smith, Akane, Braeburn, Chieftain, Pink Lady, Lady William, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious.
- EAGLE POINT STAR: An apple that was found on the side of the road in Bairnsdale, Victoria, late 20th century, by a home-grower. Fruit is medium, round oblate shape, with dark crimson-red skin that has obvious white lenticels. One noticeable feature is that when the fruit is cut open, it has white flesh with a red star in the middle. The fruit tastes more like a crabapple than a conventional dessert apple. May have good potential for cider. Blossom time is not known, but the tree has purple flowers. The leaves are noticeably red with a dusty hue, mistakenly making the tree appear as if it has a fungal infection.
- ELSTAR: A medium-sized orangey-red apple with a yellow background. White flesh, crispy texture. very sweet but is also sometimes used for cooking and is especially good for making apple sauce. Has been shown to be moderately resistant to black spot, so suits climates with high rainfall. Developed in the Netherlands in Elst in the 1950s by crossing Golden Delicious and Ingrid Marie apples. First introduced to America in 1972, but relatively unknown in Australia. Spur bearer.
- FUJI: Ripens late March to early April in Harcourt. Fujis originally come from Japan but very popular in Australia. Dusky pink skin over a green background, very firm, crisp flesh. Fujis have a distinctive, deeply sweet flavour with very little acid. Pollinised by Gala, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, partially self-fertile.
- GALA: Ripens in February in central Victoria. Lovely early season apple, skin is orange to pink and stripey. Flesh is sweet and crisp, creamy yellow in colour. Stores well in cold storage for a few months but can lose its internal quality after this. Pollinised by Granny Smith, Fuji, Akane, Cox, Delicious, Jonathan, Lady Williams, Pink Lady.
- JONATHAN: Ripens March in central Vic. An old American variety developed in the early 19th century. A great favourite with those who know them due to their great flavour which is both sweet and tart. No longer a popular commercial variety as it doesn’t store well for long periods, but a beautiful apple to eat in season. Bright red, slightly tough skin with occasional russet. Flesh is white with a green tinge. Pollinised by Gala, Granny Smith & Red Delicious.
- MUTSU: A large, green skinned dessert apple, bred in Japan in the 1940s. A slight blush can develop on the skin. Flesh is greenish-cream, crisp, juicy and sweet with excellent flavour. Pollinated by Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Fuji, Gala, however Mutsu is a triploid, so will not donate pollen to any other varieties. Stores well. Can crop very heavily so needs good thinning. Can suffer from bitter pit, so needs nutritious soil with plenty of calcium. Tree is vigorous, spur-bearing.
- PINK LADY: Ripens May in central Vic. Developed in Australia in the late 1970s. Medium sized bright pink apples with a pale yellow background colour. Lovely sweet flavour with sprightly acid finish. Creamy white flesh, very juicy. Ripen late-season, and need to be picked before overripe on the tree to preserve juiciness and firm flesh. Flowers mid-season. Pollinised by Granny Smith, Gala and Fuji. Susceptible to Black spot.
- RED DELICIOUS: Ripens early March in central Vic. The skin is crimson red with a stripe, flesh is creamy white, and the flavour is very sweet. Texture is lovely and crisp off the tree, though fruit can go floury if stored for too long. Pollinisers include Granny Smith, Akane, Pink Lady and Jonathon.
- SUNDOWNER: Late season red apple with medium-sized, round fruit. Background colour is green and turns cream as fruit ripens. White flesh that is tart, sweet and very sprightly flavour which improves if allowed to ripen on the tree. Excellent storer. Pollinated by other varieties in pollination group 3, i.e. Red Delicious, Fujii, Gala, Pink Lady and Granny Smith. Really good cropper and needs adequate thinning to prevent the tree becoming biennial. Can get some russet around the stem. Fruit ripens very late.
- MICHELIN: Medium to large, green-flesh cider apple, a heritage apple from Normandy in 1872. A very heavy cropping tree. Harvest late-season, a medium ‘bittersweet’ apple, relatively high in sugar and tannins, low in malic acid. Makes a bland cider by itself, needs blending with other varieties. Looks similar to Brown Snout but without the russeting. Tree is upright, good pollinator, flowers mid to late-season. Diploid.
- KINGSTON BLACK: Very small, dark red cider apple. Valued for its bitter qualities, it’s well-known as a cider apple, but can be hard to grow as it can be a poor cropper, and is quite prone to black spot. Tree is medium sized, spreading. Quite self-fertile, not a heavy cropper, good pollen donor. Flowers mid-season, diploid. Bittersharp.
- DAMSON: European, small prune shaped plum, purple skin with a heavy bloom and yellow flesh. High in sugar but also quite tart and astringent, its strong flavour makes it valued for excellent jam and preserving qualities. Clingstone. Self fertile, but crop may be improved with extra pollination by other European plums that flower at the same time. Harvest mid to late season.
- FRONTIER: Japanese blood plum, medium, oval , dark red skin with red flesh, good flavour, semi-clingstone. Pollinised by Santa Rosa, Casselman, Friar, Laroda. Self-infertile. Harvest 2 weeks before Mariposa.
- EUREKA: Fruits most of the year; less frost-tolerant than other varieties.
See you at the market!