When we purchased our house five years ago, it came with 3 fruit trees – a lemon, a fig, and a nectarine. We’ve planted out many more fruit and nut trees in recent years, but they are all in very early stages of development, so until they grow up a little, we enjoy the bounty offered by the few established trees, and the nectarines are ready.
We have to net the nectarine tree, unfortunately, but it only stays on for about 3 weeks while we harvest. There are a family of native wattle-birds in the area who go from one piece of fruit to the other and with a single jab, insert their long beak into the sweet flesh, only to move onto the next piece of fruit. I really wouldn’t mind as much if they ate the whole thing, but they just end up spoiling everything on the tree.
The other pest I face with nectarines here is fruit fly. Usually I end up bagging and throwing out well over a hundred kilograms of fruit stung by fruit fly, but this year there has been barely any. Only a rare few have fallen victim this year – I don’t know what has changed, but I’m ecstatic about it. Hopefully they’ll stay away for good.
The variety we have here is the white fleshed kind, and they’re a beauty. They are so sweet and aromatic – the taste is divine. They are just a little smaller than the commercially grown ones I saw at the shops last night, but what they lose in size they make up for in taste.
So it is nectarines on the breakfast cereal and in desserts, for snacks and in small give-away bags to the neighbours. Two weeks in and I’m not sick of them yet. This weekend we aren’t working so we’ll be hunched over the stove making jam, and packing pieces into jars of syrup for winter.