In season

May 3

In now: Finally, the new navel orange harvest has started and those US imports will fade from stores. New season fruit has a bracing acidity and intense flavour.

At its best: Sage is in its final stages of lush growth in the garden. It’s a great match with other autumn flavours like pumpkin, walnuts and mushrooms.

Best buy: Shoppers win when broccoli grown in both Queensland and Victoria, arrives in Sydney.

In the vegie patch: Mail-order rhubarb crowns or plant potted plants into rich, well-drained soil. Rhubarb does best with morning sun and protection from hot afternoon sun in summer. Feed enthusiastically for big harvests.

What else:

  • when the kiwi fruit get soft and mushy and even the kids turn up their nose, take advantage of the fruit’s actinidin enzyme to tenderise squid, cuttlefish or cheaper cuts of meat. Smoosh over the meat, marinate for no longer than 20 minutes, and rinse or scrape off before cooking.
  • try a raw beetroot salad. Slice into matchsticks and enjoy the crunch.
  • the imperial mandarin currently filling lunchboxes is an Australian original, discovered here in 1890. Named as a tribute to Queen Victoria, who had celebrated her Golden Jubilee in 1887 do you think?
  • rambutans have arrived from tropical north Queensland. Choose those with fresh green spines.
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