Lilly Pilly heaven just around the corner.

Fig Tree

I’m visiting Melbourne at the moment and staying with a friend in Brunswick, whilst driving around the suburbs in this past week or so I kept seeing all different fruit tree as street trees and I kept craning my neck trying to get a good look at this tree on the corner just around from where I’m staying, I swore was some sort of fig and a coupler days ago I just got a glimpse of the green fruit tucked away under the leaves out of the corner of my eye, so we went back parked up and trotted across the road to check it out and it is a bloody fig tree! A fig tree as a street tree who would have thought it.

I was so exited I nearly wet myself….. They aren’t ripe yet but I couldn’t believe it, what a score and it isn’t on a busy road with a lot of pollution so they are fine to eat with a wash.

I don’t think they will be ready while I’m here unfortunately but as we stood there perving on the figs and droowling at the thought of there soft brown squishy sweet flesh meting in our mouths, I noticed as I turned around to go back to the car empty handed the most massive old growth Prickly Pear (Opuntia sp.) I have ever seen towering above this guys fence, so we went and gorked at this for a moment astounded by it’s hugeness.

Jess standing next to the massive Prickly pear

We headed back to the car but again I noticed two trees up from the fig tree there was a nectarine (no fruit) and next to that a purple Lilly Pilly (Acmena smithii) and next to that an Olive tree with fruit, so we scrounged on the ground for some good Lilly Pilly fruit and my girl friend scrambled up the small olive tree to give it’s branches a shake and we proceeded to pick the few olives up off the ground too, happy that we actually got at least a small bounty we got into the car, did a U-Turn and headed towards home.

Jess picking White Lilly Pillies

But we didn’t get far when I again glimpsed a tree loaded with fruit a few trees up from the olive, Jezzz if it doesn’t rain it pours we screeched to a halt, jumped out and loo and behold it was a white Lilly Pilly loaded to breaking point, so we grabbed a big jar out of the car and filled it to over flowing, all the while being watched suspiciously  by the neighbourhood their inquisitiveness getting the better of them they asked in incredulous tones you aren’t going to eat them are you? Oh yes I said they are edible and very yummy!
But by the faces they were pulling I new they didn’t believed me and thought I was some sort of loony hippy that they would see had died a horrible death from fruit poisoning tomorrow in their news paper, but I bet they go and have a nibble when we are gone, it will get the better of them for sure! ….
So finaly we made our way home proud of our efforts and feeling that deep scense of primevel satisfaction you get after a successful hunting or foraging expedition.

I washed and sorted the produce and am soaking the olives to pickle later for a few months. Decided to make a sauce out of the Lilly Pilly’s. The recipe is in the Wild Food Recipe section of my site.

Olives soaking

We enjoyed the Lilly Pilly sauce last night on smoked paprika wedges with hot chilli  musscle pasta, strangely the actual sauce tastes fishy all three of us noticed this out of place flavour and commented on it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I have accidentally found a vegan oyster sauce replacement so there you go you never know what your day will produce if you just pay attention to the little things around the corner!

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Plantain (Plantago lanceolata)

Plantain (Plantago lanceolata)

 

This is one of the species of Plantain (Plantago lanceolata) growing happily in my front yard, my menagerie of Chickens, ducks and drakes seem to leave it pretty much alone so far!!

I rotate the feathered mob around areas of my yard so they don’t over use any particular area at a time anyway so always have an area fenced off from them for re-vegetation or re- pasturing.I collect and sow edible weed seeds in with the grass seeds in my pastured areas so the mob and I can graze all year round!

I use the young leaves cooked as with any other green or raw in salads.
I also use the seed heads munched up in breads muffins ect.
When we were kids we used to pick the seed heads with really long stems and make each other hold out our bare wrists and whip each other with them to see who would chicken out first, funny things we do as kids never thought I would be eating them now!

Cleaned Plantain leaves

So here are the leaves trimed off the plant, washed and ready to use.

And this is what I made with the leaves on this particular occasion.

Plantain, Duck egg omelette

I had a heap of amazing eggs that my lovely Muscovy ducks had laid, so I whipped this up for my lunch. On this plate you can see the Scrumptious omelette, home made sauerkraut and fermented baby zucchinis garnished with Plantain leaves! (see recipes for more details)

Now this is my idea of a bung up meal! dig in……..