Fresh fruit all year round from your own backyard really can be enjoyed by those living in a temperate climate.
One of the great joys of a green home is without a doubt daily access to fresh fruit that costs nothing, ripens on the bush and has not been sprayed with toxic chemicals. I find it fascinating that folk would eschew an apple or pawpaw that a toppie had taken a peck out of, but have no qualms about munching perfect looking fruit despite the unseen herbicides and other poisons.
It’s a terrifying thought to me, though most are completely unaware of it, that none of the food that we eat in South Africa is tested for chemical residues. Is it any wonder there is so many tumours about?
Every morning for the last two months, as I wandered around our garden, forest bathing and picking food for Eggs Hilton, I have enjoyed ten or more blueberries, followed by at least six granadillas with half a teaspoon of natural honey and a slosh of cream at breakfast.
The citrus is coming to an end but there is still a lemon every day to have in a glass of water, and in our hummus. A few drops improve the bread dough too.
Cherry tomatoes are in abundance, growing like weeds and bringing colour and well-being to our salads. There’s strong research that a tomato a day keeps the urologist at bay; the lycopene is the wonder phytochemical that helps prevent tumours in the prostate gland, and I’m sure others too.
So too the Catawba pop grapes and Cape gooseberries that we enjoy for more than half the year, and as a jam for the rest of the seasons.
The cherry guavas are swelling fast and it won’t be long before I’m enjoying half a dozen of them every morning, straight from the bushes every morning on my little jaunt. They make the most divine jelly too.
The avocados are bursting and by May, and for the next nine months, we
will be enjoying at least one, and sometimes more, every day for lunch;
we never seem to tire of them. Often we will use it instead of butter on
our bread. Plenty of the healthy fats improves the absorption of many
nutrients in the gut, and provides satiety. Constant gnawing hunger is
not the lot of those enjoying avos daily. A recent report in the press
told how a shipment to Europe was returned to SA because they do test
for chemical residues, and spurned them; so instead they were sent home
and sold on the local market.
Often it’s said with good reason that if you have an avocado and loaf of sourdough bread, you have a splendid meal.
There is much argument in the literature about good and bad oils, but everyone agrees that avocado fat, along with that from olives, is the best.
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August is a bit of a lean time until the strawberries start bearing, covered by netting to keep said toppies at bay; they know what’s good food. In Holland they used to sneer and call them coloured water until researchers found out how important they are for the eyes.
Oranges and naartjes, limes and lemons of course are marvellous. I have to be careful as they give me gout if not properly ripe. Freshly squeezed OJ raises my blood glucose alarmingly too, but it is totally ameliorated by a short walk; instead of being stored in adipose tissue, it’s turned into glycogen for use by our muscles. A starchy meal should always be followed by a little exercise.
Plums, peaches and mulberries are the order of the day. Much will be eaten raw, often straight from the tree, with stale jokes about half a worm, but we also stew them and make jam.
Retraining the tongue to enjoy tart fruits is a part of the exercise. We eat almost no sugar now, but a couple teaspoons of raw honey each day does take the edge off the sourness.
Do you know about the remarkable research of Dr George Campbell? After two decades of having 20 teaspoons of sugar per day (about 30kg per year), you will most likely be diabetic. One cola has about 10tsp. Add to that other refined starches daily like mealie-meal and white rice, and you’re a gonna. South Africans, particularly the women, are now more obese than Americans. Is it any wonder that diabetes and C-19 are taking such a toll?
Some of this comes with some controversy for the greenie; several of these fruits are invasive, but only mildly so in the Midlands. Life is full of compromises. There are virtually no indigenous fruits in South Africa. And so too if you are banting; in my book it’s the refined carbs that are the killer.
Lest I make this seem overly simple, there is a cost involved; time to plant, fertilise with compost and worm-wee, reap, wash and peel this abundant harvest of food. Alas it’s so much easier to pick up punnets of delicious looking strawberries and grapes at the supermarket; the real expense may not be at the till but years later consulting the oncologist. Some accuse me of being an alarmist; perhaps so.
Fresh fruit all year round is to be had by those with large gardens.
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