Imperial Gala Apple
We chose to grow Imperial Gala apple for its suitability to our warm and dry climate. It requires low chill hours, and blossoms have good frost resistance. Imperial Gala is a sport selected from the original Gala apple variety. One of the parents of this variety, Golden Delicious, contributes many favourable characteristics to Imperial Gala. It produces a small to medium size apple with red striping on a creamy yellow background. Flesh is yellow to creamy, finely textured, firm, crisp, juicy, and sweet. Flavour is excellent yet not over powering. Flesh is not as firm as Fuji, making it easy to bite into, and is a great addition to salads. This is an ideal apple variety for young children. Store in the refrigerator to maintain crisp juicy qualities.
Available from early January from GMP Farms.
Originally we chose to grow Fuji apple as a pollinator for our Imperial Gala but after we discovered how amazingly sweet these apples are we had to grow more of them. I always say these apples look ugly but taste amazing and the old saying ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating’ couldn’t be truer than in the case of a tree ripened Fuji apple. Don’t ask for this variety too early in the season, you need to wait for it to be ripe to allow it to develop its full flavoursome sweetness. Skin is thick with a light red blush, which thin and deepen as the season progresses. I know people who specifically seek out Fuji apple because they taste so amazing. The sugar level of our Fuji is approximately 30% higher than our Imperial Gala. Our Fuji apples are quite large, firm fleshed, very sweet, and juicy. They are perfect for slicing up to share, or cooking, such as on cheese platters, salad, and Apple Sauce for Roast Pork. This variety keeps very well. Store in the refrigerator to maintain freshness.
Available from March from GMP Farms.
At the time of establishing our avocado orchard in 2008, we chose to grow Hass as our main variety because of its fast growing popularity. This variety is challenging to grow in our semi arid climate, requiring meticulous attention to growing conditions. With good nutrition and moisture management of our Hass trees we are able to produce excellent quality fruit and popular sizes. I developed many recipes using this amazing fruit when I was involved with promoting avocados a number of years ago. My two favourite recipes are; Simple Avocado Dip and Avocado Cheesecake - chilled. Preferably select avocados with the stem button still intact, this acts like a plug helping to preserve internal qualities of the fruit as it ripens and will flick out when ripe. Ripe avocados can be stored for quite some time in the refrigerator to extend shelf life.
Available from July from GMP Farms.
Originally grown as a pollinator variety for our Hass, the Ryan avocado tree has turned out to have some qualities we greatly admire. Not a popular variety grown in Australia, possibly due to its apparent shy bearing. This variety produces large fruit with slightly larger seeds than the Hass which makes it perfect to top with your favourite fillings. The Ryan fruit is extremely tasty with firm flesh, making it ideal for tossing in salads such as my favourite, Avocado and Apple Salad. When Ryan avocados are held on the tree over the warm summer months they may start to germinate due to the ideal growing conditions within the fruit. This is quite normal for this late maturing variety and the fruit is still perfectly good to eat.
Available from October from GMP Farms.
Located in a traditional citrus growing region, the decision for us to grow lemons was natural. Although lemons are frost sensitive, we chose to grow Lisbon because it is the most resistant variety to adverse climatic conditions, grown in Australia. There are many ways to incorporate lemon in our diet and one of my favourite ways is Lemon Cordial simply made with freshly squeezed lemon juice and sugar or other sweetener, using some rind if you want extra zest, and keeping it in the fridge until needed. This makes a very refreshing drink on hot days. Store lemons in the refrigerator for extended shelf life.
Available from May from GMP Farms.
Many people are unfamiliar with the old fashioned quince, though some people remember it from their childhood. This fruit is making a strong comeback in processed foods, namely quince paste which is generally served on cheese platters. While it is possible to eat quince raw, it is traditionally eaten cooked. When I meet people who don't like quince I usually find they have only tried eating it raw, like an apple. Quince needs to be cooked with a little sugar or Fuji apple, and can then be enjoyed as a dessert.
Unsurprisingly our Pineapple quince are very nice to cook with for a number of reasons. Firstly as they develop on the trees, the typical furry skin of a quince disappears and is almost nonexistent at harvest. The fruit is quite rounded making it easy to peel without mountains and valleys and its delicate flesh is easy on the hands when it comes to cutting it up. A delightful fresh pineapple aroma emits from the pot while it awaits cooking. Our Pineapple quince will bring a distinct aromatic flavour and pretty pink colour to your food when cooked for long enough.
Enjoy our Pineapple quince as a substitute for apple in recipes, or be adventurous and stock up your preserves by making your own quince paste, jam or jelly. I recommend using our Pineapple quince to make Quince Crumble as a change to apple crumble, which is one of our children’s favourite recipes. This variety stores well in a cool place.
Available from February from GMP Farms.