In Our Garden: Four Surprising Fruits That Are Now In Full Swing

Photos by Ryan Benoit

Guava season has officially begun! Although none of the egg-shaped green fruits have conked us on the head yet (a sign of good luck anyway), our Acca sellowiana tree has been dropping goodies left and right since late July. In previous years, this level of action wouldn’t happen until early September.

Aside from our herb garden and citrus trees, our edible horticulture tends to be a bit outside of the box, but this is our idea of frutopia. Below are the three fruits in total that we’re harvesting right now — plus one that’s half-ripe and being hunted by some non-human visitors…

Fruit hunting in our backyard.

Clockwise from top left: Feijoa guava, fuchsia berry, epiphyllum fruit, and strawberry guava.

1. Pineapple guava.

We’ve been slicing up our feijoas (aka pineapple guavas) and eating them constantly, and have been giving them away in armfuls. The texture is firm and apple-like, and the taste, which is even more delicious on the beach, is vaguely tart (especially if you eat it with the skin) and mildly sweet.

What’s next, recipe-wise? You might remember our gin infusion. And our adventures in pickling. Maybe we’ll dehydrate some of our crop this year. Any other ideas on what to do with a haul that could likely reach 20 pounds?

Fruit hunting in our backyard.

An edible flower from our feijoa tree this past spring.

Fruit hunting in our backyard.

Our current feijoa harvest.

 

Fruit hunting in our backyard.

We’re still mid-season. There are many smaller fruit still growing.

Fruit hunting in our backyard.

The scene when we get home from work: pure guava carpet.

Fruit hunting in our backyard.

The pineapple guavas go bump in the night.

Fruit hunting in our backyard.

Fruit hunting in our backyard.

The early harvest coincides with peak beach season.

2. Voodoo Fuchsia Berries

For the first time ever, we’ve been eating the berries from our fuchsia plant. All fuchsia fruits are edible, although many are insipid in taste, F. splendens being a delicious exception.

Today our “Voodoo” hybrid from Weidner’s is vibrant with prom dress flowers (in bloom since last month) recently giving way to small dark purple fruit. They’re no F. splendens, but the dark-fleshed fruit produced these tasting notes: muted plum, kind of jammy, subtly complex like a wine grape.

Fruit hunting in our backyard.

We measured a 5-1/2 foot wingspan on our voodoo fuchsia.

Fruit hunting in our backyard.

How beautiful is this plant? Fuchsia flowers look like ’60s party dresses, the fruits are deep in color and jammy in taste. (In fact, fuchsia jam is a thing.)

Fruit hunting in our backyard.

Fruit hunting in our backyard.

3. Epiphyllum Fruit

Also fruiting is one of our epiphyllum cactus plants, a close cousin to the pitaya/dragon fruit,  the headlining ingredient of the buzzed-about pitaya bowl. Once our epi had three round purply red fruits at the end of its foliage, we picked them, sliced, and tasted the translucent flesh inside. The texture was a little more solid than applesauce, and the taste reminded us of a melon with a slightly savory edge.

This being our first time eating the fruits of our epiphyllum cactus added to the thrill…

Fruit hunting in our backyard.

Our epiphyllum flowers in May.

Fruit hunting in our backyard.

The epiphyllum fruits this week!

Fruit hunting in our backyard.

Fruit hunting in our backyard.

Fruit hunting in our backyard.

4. Strawberry guava

And although we’re not harvesting them yet, our strawberry guava tree is noteworthy because the wild parrots/parakeets have returned to feast on its half-ripe fruit!

What fruits are you harvesting from your yard right now? How are you eating them? Let us know in the comments!

Fruit hunting in our backyard.

Fruit hunting in our backyard.

Fruit hunting in our backyard.

Fruit hunting in our backyard.

Fruit hunting in our backyard.

Fruit hunting in our backyard.

Kauai-Travel-2013-ryanbenoitphoto-thehorticult-RMB_4397

Here are some ripe strawberry guavas we spotted on Kauai last fall. In the past we’ve juiced these super-seedy fruits, which give up a delicious bright pink juice.