Category Archives: Fruit


Essie from Auckland writes, Loquats. An easy care, pretty fruit tree which doesn’t need pruning. I steam (or boil) the big seeds until edible. They could be ground up and used to make almond biscuits with a little almond essence. (Use some flour & butter, too.) A Taiwanese lady told me loquat leaves are a […]

Possum, Up North.

Here’s an old trick I use to keep ‘possums away from my fruit trees. I fill up a small stocking with dog hair and hang it from the tree. The ‘possums smell the dog and keep well clear. A more permanent and better solution is to trap them, but this will at least keep them […]

Canny Scot, Christchurch.

I have been enjoying a good fruit harvest from my dwarf fruit trees this year. When they all seem to ripen at once I slice nectarines and peaches and simmer them in some honey and cinnamon for five minutes then cool and freeze. Handy for whipping up a quick fruit tart or fruit cobbler when […]

Mountains of mandarins

Dee from Whangarei writes, “Some friends of ours have hundreds of mandarin trees that are absolutely loaded with fruit. We have given away fruit to virtually everyone we know, and we still have bag loads. So I am sending out an SOS to the oily rag community to ask for suggestions on how to make […]

CB, Whangarei.

Whangarei fruit trees will be laden with fruit which will be wasted. I complain to myself every year while driving to and from work. Kensington area and Tikipunga to name a few. Nobody picks the fruit, which then rots on the ground. And yes you can see people sitting around day in and day out […]

A.G., Masterton.

This isn’t really a money saving idea, but a money making one.  If you have an over productive fig tree, pick a big basket, take to your local market and sell them there, or even just sell bags from your front gate.  I’m a bit of a foodie and would love to be able to […]

Annette, Marlborough Sounds.

In the reserve nearby we collect lost of figs. I pickle them. They can be served as a dessert with whipped cream OR with cold meat, OR with cheeses, which is my favourite.( I make my own cheese.) To pickle the figs you need: 3 cups red wine vinegar, 1 kg brown or raw sugar, […]

Isabel Morgan, Napier.

Fig recipe. You will need. 3-4 cups sugar 2 cups water 2 tablespoons vinegar   Boil till syrupy. Put in clean ripe, but not over-ripe figs (leave stalk on), and simmer for two and half – 3 hrs. Drain. Dry in sun or low oven. Pack in bags and freeze. Delicious in sandwiches, with crackers […]