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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Couple of Exciting Things in My Own Garden

 
You may remember my previous posts about Solanum quitoense.  Just before the Fling at the end of June, my decision about whether or not I should pick and try one of the gorgeous orange fruits adorning my plant was made for me by the plant that drops the fruit as it ripens.  The interweb said that the fuzz should be rubbed off the surface of the fruit.  I learned that this is best done using a paper towel as the fuzz likes to remain in ones skin.  Not as irritating as Opuntia glochids and not as long lasting, they're still not fun.   

The interweb also said that these are eaten by squeezing the inner parts, seeds and all into one's mouth and discarding the outer skin. Do you see the similarity to tomatoes, their cousins in the solanum family?  Here one has been cut vertically; the other horizontally.

The fruit is said to have a citrus flavor similar to lime with a touch of rhubarb.  I noticed a distinct kiwi flavor as well.  
 You can read more about the growth and uses of this interesting fruit here.
 
 
The other big news is fauna rather than flora related.  For several years, I've purchased tadpoles to put in my pond hoping that someday I might have frogs.  Once I unintentionally brought a frog home in a water plant.  Poor lonely thing lasted a few years.  The exciting news is that for the last few weeks, I've seen a couple of little frogs mostly hopping as fast as possible to get back to the safety of the pond when I approach.  Today, one of them stayed in place long enough for me to run back in the house and get my camera.  Here's the little guy and to the right is Remmington (one of the koi) coming over to see what's going on.

Isn't (s)he lovely?  I haven't heard any singing from the two but maybe it's the wrong time of year or maybe they're too young.  Having never had frogs in town, I know nothing about them. 


Kisses are only twenty five cents apiece but you have to catch him first!

Ain't life in the garden grand?

37 comments:

  1. It is indeed! Both Remington and Frog look happy in their homes!

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  2. I am SO JEALOUS of your frog prince (or princess)!

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    1. He is quite a looker! I hope to hear some interesting frog songs some day!

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  3. Love the frog! I don't need a kiss though, I already have a prince of my own.

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    1. Yes you do! Do you get frogs in your pond out there or are you too close to town?

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  4. Frogs , fruit ...what a summer ! I grew Kangaroo apples a few years ago . I didn't try the fruit, I was put off by they being poisonous when green !

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    1. I can see how the poisonous when green thing would be off-putting! I didn't know that Kangaroo apples were edible.

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  5. This is very cool. I'm surprised it is not poisonous like so many other fruit of the solaneum family. It reminds me of a passionfruit and I bet it will make a great sorbet. I'm going to keep an eye out for this plant. I also love the frog.

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    1. Glad you like the frog! I hear that the plant comes pretty easily from seed. Cistus nursery in Portland usually has the plant earlier in the season. Every now and then a grower will start a few and they'll show up in nurseries in the area. They do have to be brought inside in the winter.

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  6. Congrats frog dad! This is very exciting news. Soon your nights will be filled with frog music...which reminds me of the time Sean shared that his neighbor complained about the frogs in his garden. Too loud!

    So would you call the Solanum quitoense good? As in you'd go out and pick one just to eat it?

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    1. Really? Frogs too loud? Crazy. On the other hand our neighbor doesn't like the sound of woodpeckers or the geese in another neighbor's back yard. Whatever.
      Refreshing, not particularly sweet but that's probably why they add sugar to the juice before drinking it. Wouldn't want to eat a bunch of them (like strawberries or peaches in season) but they'd make great sorbet and other stuff.

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  7. It´s awesome to have life of that kind in the garden!! I had two frogs last year and I´m sad as they did not decided to come back this year.Congrats for your frogs! and your Solanum fruits!

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    1. Thank you Lisa! I hope your frogs come back again someday soon!

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  8. Hi, thanks for visiting my blog. Fascinating looking fruit you have there. Congrats on having a frog - I suspect the koi are the reason your tadpoles never make it to adulthood, they eat the tadpoles with great relish...

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    1. It was my pleasure to visit your blog! So, this great relish of which you speak, is it anything like pickle relish?

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    2. It's probably made from whatever the garden is producing a glut of...

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  9. Amazing things happen in the garden, I would be rushing out every day now to check on the frog, we hear frogs sometimes but can never locate their source. I suspect they could be in the drain? In our previous house there was a plum tree planted in the backyard, and boy did it make a mess. Dropped fruit and fruit fly. Glad to hear you are having a great summer, with the fling and all the interesting things going on in your garden.

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    1. Thanks Karen! It must be exciting for you thinking of winter ending soon!

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  10. Congratulations on the frog, hope he/she is there to stay. My parents have had a frog couple for years in their garden in southern Spain, when my father starts to speak when they sit outside in the evening, one of the frogs will talk back - really loud, never happens when my mother talks!

    Great to hear about your naranjilla, I have my own fruit to taste for the first time, my 2 year old passionflower has got 2 fruits so far and probably loads more to come! I have read that they don't taste much at all, but I will at least have a taste, just so I can tell people what they taste like :-)

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    1. Interesting that the frogs like to talk with your father but not your mother!
      How exciting about your passion fruit; I look forward to your report!

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  11. Your frog is fabulous! Your pond must be the hoppin' spot in the garden. :o) My little tree frog is still around but he's impossible to find. We only know he's here by his singing. Your fruit looks a bit slimy inside. Did you like it? I've never eaten those before.

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    1. The fruit was interesting, refreshing, lime/rhubarb/kiwi flavored, and a little tart. In the places where they use it to make a drink, sugar is added & I think that makes it much nicer.

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  12. I think that frog might be the thing you've grown (or frog-napped) that I'm most jealous of. AWESOME.

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    1. I don't know if it's cruel to bring tadpoles into town where there don't seem to be any frogs already but at least there are lots of bugs around for them to eat!

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  13. As far as frogs, the only ones I'm aware of in our yard/garden are ceramic or terracotta! And yes, life IS grand in the garden!

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    1. That's the only kind I've had before, too.

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  14. Pond life is grand. i have one big mf frog in there. That abbreviation is the only apt description so please excuse the crudeness. I will get a picture for you. Now, if only I can get him to hold a pencil for scale.

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    1. Did your big mf frog move in on his own or did you import him? Can't wait to see a picture and especially to hear how it is that you get a frog to hold a pencil:)

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  15. Our frogs were strangely silent this spring, but random sightings tell me they are still about. When they really get going it can be deafening (in a good way).

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  16. I can tell you why you don't have frogs. It's because you have fish and fish enjoy eating tadpoles. Better to have a separate pond just for your frog babies. By the way, this is a Red-Legged frog--an endangered species! Congrats on your luring him/her to your abode. (We have them in our pond but we are in a rural area. And we tried fish but the damn raccoons ate them.)

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    1. I have other watery places for frogs too. The tadpoles I've been getting are way too big for my koi to eat. They're like 4 inches long and their heads are almost as big as a quarter. I get them from a local pond store and am thinking that these are the ones that turned into my little frogs. I've never had frogs here in town until I started bringing in the tadpoles and I hope that they find enough space in my little garden to be happy.

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    2. Sorry to be a killjoy, but that is an invasive bullfrog, not an endangered red-legged frog. The size of the tadpoles and the exposed eardrum on the adult are a dead giveaway. Bullfrogs eat native frogs and their tadpoles, among other things. I'm a little shocked that a pond store would be so unconscionable as to raise and sell these.

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    3. Yikes! The good news seems to be that these invasive frogs don't last long in town. Perhaps they become possum or racoon food? What I really wanted was a whole chorus of those cute little teeny green frogs that people find all over their lawns in less populated areas. Have you any idea how much space/habitat that a frog might need to be happy?

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.