Finger Limes and other suckers

The two young surfers Luke and Roz, called on Friday to tell me that they were standing in the Forbidden Fruits Nursery in Mullumbimby trying to decide which fruit trees to bring back for our permaculture garden.  What a great surprise and the best news….they’ve got some finger limes! You beauty. We’ve only recently discovered the delights of the Australian native finger lime (Citrus australasica), introduced to us by Tanya who has produced a fine crop in the local eco garden she manages. Chris had remembered them from his days managing a rainforest education centre in northern NSW and was thrilled to be reintroduced to them this year. An interesting tree and fruit to say the least, and one not many people have heard of, producing as the name suggests finger shaped fruit. The flesh is caviar like and both the skin and pulp come in a range of colours from deep pink, champagne, green, yellow and even an eggplant colour. They have an intense tangy flavour, almost a little salty and can fetch well over $40 a kilo on the domestic fruit market. So definitely worth trying to grow your own if you can get hold of one.

But while only young, these two are already thinking strategically and have called to ask what height fruit trees will best fit in the permaculture garden. It’s a good question because our yard isn’t huge and one giant 10m pecan for example could completely overshadow the rest of the yard so we’re trying to max out at 4 metres. They also chose a 3 metre pomegranate which I suspect was also a sentimental decision as we all fell in love with this delicious and interesting fruit during our trek last year in the Himalayas.

There’s also a couple of passionfruit and a cassava coming and apparently a surprise as well. It’s all very exciting as we start to imagine what the garden will look like in a year’s time.

Unfortunately Forbidden Fruits has no Cavendish bananas as I need a few for our banana paw-paw circle. In fact, they don’t have a licence to sell them. The banana industry is heavily regulated to control the outbreak of banana related diseases.

Local backyard permaculture garden with young banana paw paw circle

In NSW, if you live anywhere further north than Taree, you not only need a permit to grow more than 2 plants but you can only purchase bananas from licensed sellers. In Sydney, we don’t need a permit to grow them in our backyards but I’ve found it difficult locating young banana plants to buy and perhaps more will be available as we head into the warmer months. Alternatively, as bananas ‘sucker’ I’m now thinking that I could barter a few suckers for our permaculture garden. I know my Dad used to grow bananas and Mum recently suggested there were still suckers coming up in the garden so I’ll have to check with him. And I also know that Tanya has a banana paw-paw circle in her community eco garden so I may just be in luck.

Otherwise, does anyone else know of any suckers out there?

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