Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Having a go at growing quandong

Today was too drizzly to do much outside so I got stuck into a book called 'The end of food'. It is a good book and quite scary. It tells about the problems with food production and safety especially with big ag.

Anyway this post is about quandongs. I bought a bag of seeds off Ebay after finding out that they are not as difficult to grow as I had always thought. Also, I always thought that they were strictly desert plants but I found out that they also grow naturally in northern Victoria so they should grow here.

Quandongs are a native food plant that produces red, edible fruit that was sought after by Aboriginals but the trees are getting quite scarce in the deserts as they are a favourite food of wild camels.
They are a semi-parasitic small tree which was what had put me off up til now but I found out that they can do without a host for periods and latch onto others around them so you don't have to worry if their main host dies at any time.

I went out and planted some seeds next to some young carob tree seedlings in the fruit block as well as some seeds in pots as you can get them germinated and growing before you need to find them a host. I cracked a few of the hard seeds to see if that will get them germinating sooner.

I hope I get quite a few trees growing as they fruit within only 4 years from seeds and they will be a good treat for my customers, and they are drought tolerant and I am looking for more drought hardy plants for my veggie and fruit blocks.

I am starting to get quite a few native food plants growing. When I build up the numbers and get some fruiting happening I will offer them at markets, and maybe sell plants as well.

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