Forty years ago Innot Hot Springs farmer Bill Godden planted one of the few pecan nut orchards in the Far North.
Each winter, the nuts are harvested and sold mostly through word-of-mouth and local markets, providing top-quality produce for those who are lucky enough to be in the know.
I visited Bill at his property recently and found not only a first-class product, but also a true character of the Australian bush.
To tell you the truth, up until about a week ago, I didn’t know much about pecan nuts. Sure, I had heard of them – even used them from time to time – but they were always just something I’d bought off the supermarket shelf, with no idea of where they came from.
I just assumed they were something I couldn’t source locally . . .
Few things are as satisfying as a hot bowl of pumpkin soup on a cool, winter’s night.
And as you’ll see, it’s dead easy to make.
Just thought I’d share this quick recipe with you. It’s a favourite in my house at this time of year, when the nights are cool and clear and you need something to warm your insides . . .
Looking for the perfect treat for your guests next time you invite them over for morning tea? Try serving up a delicious star fruit upside down cake – I guarantee it will surprise and impress them . . .
At least a couple of times a week, I try to go for a walk in the afternoons. Partly because I need the exercise and partly because I live near a river and it’s relaxing to walk along the bank and enjoy the view.
I usually take my two English staffies with me (they enjoy getting out of the backyard), and occasionally my teenage kids join us.
I follow a footpath which runs along its eastern bank, flanked by houses, then under a bridge and up alongside the town’s high school. The high school hasn’t always been a high school though.
For a long time it was a TAFE College; a place where adults went to further their studies through courses aimed at improving their job prospects.
I was teenager myself when it first kicked off and it was a roaring success. It had all sorts of subjects on offer and in its heyday, had a lot of really cool infrastructure in place.
One of these was an orchard.
Making cordials at home is almost a lost art but creating your own refreshing blend is surprisingly easy.
It’s certainly the time of year for citrus here in the Wet Tropics and I think everyone would agree it has been a bumper crop.
Every tree I see, whether it be orange, mandarin, lemon, lime, grapefruit or lemonade, is dripping with fruit.
With such a bounty, it’s hard to ensure as little as possible goes to waste. . .
Sweet basil is one of the few Mediterranean-style herbs that grow well in the tropics and using it to make traditional Italian pesto is a fantastic way to enjoy its spicy flavour.
Basil is one herb you just have to grow in your garden.
Here in Northern Australia, very few European herbs can be grown in the ground. Most just manage to survive in a pot through the cooler months.
Basil is an exception.
It grows vigorously and as long as you can keep the grasshoppers and grubs away from it, bountiful crops are pretty much guaranteed . . .
North Queenslanders love their mandarins and this delicious citrus fruit is one of the most popular backyard trees grown up this way. While they are usually just peeled and eaten as a snack, adding them to an Asian-style salad is a great way to bring some zing to your dinner table . . .
The world of edible wild mushrooms is not for the faint-hearted. Mistakes can land you in hospital – or worse – but with thorough research it is possible to enjoy some fine fungi at your dinner table . . .