In season

March 15

Bad news: Leatherwood honey is unique to Tasmania, where leatherwoods are understorey shrubs in forests in the west of the island. Long-burning fires this summer prevented many apiarists accessing their hives at harvest time. They expect shortages of leatherwood honey this season, and possibly into the future, depending on the extent of damage to the plants.

At their best: Local Sydney growers are harvesting chillies. Dry unused fruit in the sun, turning occasionally, then store in an airtight container for winter heat.

Best buy: Look out for small strawberries grown in Victoria selling at jam-making prices.

In the vegie patch: Sow rocket into bare patches in garden beds. Make sure the soil is damp first, and keep it moist until the seed germinates.

What else:

  • the fresh apple choice is increasing – fuji, jonathon, gala, red delicious
  • fig and ginger jam anyone?
  • try a prickly pear, also called Indian fig. Those sold in punnets have had the prickly spines removed.
  • there ar some new seasons persimmon around, but the best flavour is a way off yet.
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