Barbie's garden Bloggers Harvest Day Gardening Home page features

January Harvest

The year started with so many projects on the “TO DO” list, that we saw January come and go. We have successfully completed our Solar Geyser project and even though it is not a real gardening project, I really want to share the experience with you!! So I will make my next post a project post!

But January still managed to delight me with lots of wonderful flavour and colour! See what my garden harvest was this January…….

Kale, Spinach, figs, lemons, grenadillas, and yellow sweet peppers!

Even though we are experiencing water restrictions, the fig tree managed to gives us super sweet and unusually creamy fruit!

Bursting with sweetness!

Grenadillas are falling off the vine every day!! I have to give them away!

The Kale is so crunchy and very edible. I was not a fan but if you sprinkle with olive oil and lemon juice and rub it in…..very yummy and wonderfully nutritious salad addition!

Lemons are always used and welcome in my kitchen. If not for cooking then for cleaning. GREAT TIP: I take a used lemon slice and rub my cutting boards to clean it and remove stains and when rinsed they come out washed and fresh!

My Sweet Yellow Pepper – did you know that your green pepper will either turn red or yellow – depending on the type!

[one_half]My January Harvest[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Tons of figs[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Grenadilla or Passion Fruit[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Love all the flavours[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Lots of kale for juicing as well[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Need to make Fig Jam[/one_half_last]


Thanks for sharing and enjoy your garden this 2016!

Happy Gardening xxxx

Barbie's garden Gardening Home page features Trees

Bountiful fruit

Wow!! I have joy in my heart! We are enjoying the bountiful harvest of fruit from our garden!! One day we will have apples as well!!

[one_half]Passion fruit[/one_half]

[one_half_last]So sweet and delicious![/one_half_last]

[one_half]Passion fruit vine full of fruit![/one_half]

[one_half_last]Hanging fruit a plenty[/one_half_last]



[one_half]This year the tree is chock-a-block full[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Eat to your hearts content[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Peaches are next![/one_half]

[one_half_last]Small tree with plenty of peaches![/one_half_last]

[one_half]Guavas have a while to go[/one_half]

[one_half_last]QuinceQuinces are abundant[/one_half_last]




Quinces galore and a fig tree that needs a scarecrow!! His name is el-sha-fig!

Happy Gardening xxx



Barbie's garden Bugs & Pests Gardening Home page features

African Fruit Beetle

[one_half]African Fruit BeetleAfrican Fruit Beetle on my figs!![/one_half]

[one_half_last]GrubsAfrican Fruit Beetle grub (image:wikipedia)[/one_half_last]

Hi Chris, I wanted to do a quick post before I start with a new work project. This darn thing is all over my figs. They are the African Fruit Beetle. Do you have these too? I did some research and found some interesting info.

(Pachnoda sinuata) the garden fruit chafer or brown-and-yellow fruit chafer, is a species of beetle found in Africa from the Congo Basin southwards. These insect pests can cause extensive amounts of damage to crops.

Adult beetles feed on flowers and fruit, often destroying them in the process which makes them unpopular with gardeners. They feed on overripe fruit, and favour roses, reason why they are also known as ‘rose beetles’ and fruit chafers. The beetle bores into the soft, ripe flesh of almost any fruit to extract the juices.While commonly found on exotic plants like roses and camellias, these beetles also feed on a range of indigenous plants including Acacia.  Adults lay their eggs in manure and compost heaps or among plant roots. The pupae develop inside large, egg-shaped protective clay shells. This species is a popular prey species for many species of bird, such as red-wing starlings and Hadeda Ibises. (reference: From Wikipedia)

The big aha! for me was the grub! I did not know it came from this beetle!! I see it all over my garden when I dig in the veggie patch and the compost heep. The chickens love them!  So that’s where they come from!!

How do we get rid of these!!? I don’t have Har-dee-dars coming into my garden, so I have to try something else!

Barbie's garden Gardening Home page features Miscellaneous

Figs ready for jam

[one_half]Ripe figs[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Veggie basket[/one_half_last]

I was in the garden today as the sun was setting with my basket ready to collect supper! I was so surprised at how quickly I could have filled it! I have a head of butter lettuce, sweet garden peas and sweet basil. I also added a few figs because they are beautifully sweet and ripe and ready for jam. I made the most delicious jam last year which I will share with you and next time I come and visit, I will bring you a jar ot two of jam!

 Fig Jam
5 pounds chopped fresh figs (2.5kg)
6 cups of sugar
3/4 cup of water
1/2 cup of lemon juice

 To prepare chopped figs: Cover figs with boiling water. Let stand 10 minutes. Drain, skin, stem and chop figs (I prefer it without the skin on, but the extra schlep is worth it).

Combine figs, sugar and 1/4 cup of water in a large sauce pot. Bring slowly to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly until thick (it took me 45min. I think the trick is to really let it boil until the desired thickness). Stir frequently to prevent sticking. Add lemon juice and cook 1 minute longer. Pour hot into hot, boiled jars, leaving a little head space. Adjust caps. Process 15 minutes on a boiling water bath. I got 4 jars of jam.

I added less sugar than the recipe called for because I wanted the jam to taste natural, rather than sweet. I noticed that the figs were a bit spotty when I started. I understand that when the small spots form, as in bananas, the natural sugar in the fruit is changing and rising to the skin as the fruit ripens. As the figs cooked the sugar dissolved into the jam causing most of the spot to vanish.

Barbie's garden Gardening Home page features

Fruits in my Garden

We are patiently waiting for the figs to ripen. I made green fig preserve for the first time 3 weeks ago and made 1,5kg worth of figs in syrup. They are really nice – for a first try – but the syrup is too runny. I’ll blog about that recipe next time. So now for ripe, fresh figs – yum yum! I also make a mean fig jam. The only problem is that the starlings attack and devour the ripe figs early each morning, making a huge racket outside our bedroom window. Scaring them doesn’t work anymore – they all know my tricks. I have one more up my sleeve! Let’s see if they are afraid of a hawk – haahaa!! I will use my feather duster !!

I also have a quince tree, but I’m not a fan. My mom-in-law makes a mean jam, so I will giver her all my quinces!! They just take so long to ripen – hoohumm!

I also have a small guava tree, but they will only come out later – I think in winter. And Yes! The sad lemon tree! I will have to nurse her back to health!

Oh dear! I nearly forgot about the new addition to my garden family!! My peach tree that you bought for me! I have put it close to the quince tree in the back garden. I am making sure it gets all its nutrients and I watch over it carefully for any nasties!! We had a few holes in the leaves, but this has stopped. She is settling in so very nicely! I’ll take a nice photo soon.

[one_half]Fig Tree 2011[/one_half]