Bowl of exotic tropical fruit used for the fruit tasting Cape Trib Exotic Fruit Farm at Cape Tribulation
Bed and Breakfast accommodation on the edge of the Daintree Rainforest  at Cape Tribulationand white-lipped tree frog
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About Alison and Digby Gotts - Cape Tribulation

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May 1999
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AUGUST 1999 NEWSLETTER

WEATHER REPORT - much drier than normal
FRUIT - Durian has flowers for the first time
FRUIT TASTING - Ducks becoming the star attraction
FARM ACTIVITIES - Nothing much
RECIPE - Jakfruit Upside-Down Pudding
BED and BREAKFAST - the poles are in at last!

WEATHER REPORT FOR JULY

Facts and figures provided by Gail and Cliff Truelove at the Pilgrim Sands Weather Centre, operating since 1982.

July has been another windy month which has made it unpleasant for the boaties. It's unusual for the wind to be so consistently strong, although not unheard of. The month began and ended with a wet spell but overall was again much drier than normal with the total of 69.9mm being half the average of 139.9mm. Rain fell on 13 days with the 9th getting the "Golden Gumboot" award for 16mm.

Temperatures were slightly cooler than average. Maximum was 24.3 compared with 24.7 degrees C (not much in it) and minimum was 18.7degrees C compared with 19.6 (slightly cooler nights).

The warmest day was 15th with 26.5 and the coolest nights were 12th and 13th both being a shivery 16degrees C. I suppose all the southerners and northern hemispherers are falling about laughing but just wait until you acclimatize!

FRUIT – WHAT’S FLOWERING, WHAT’S BEING HARVESTED

The exciting news is that the two Durian trees have finished flowering and small miniature fruit can be seen - about 10 altogether – will they grow into real fruit or rot and fall off? We are not counting our Durians yet!

The Rollinia trees that survived the cyclone, including one that fell over and is now growing horizontally have produced a good crop of Rollinias which are now green and the size of an orange. Another month will see them ready to eat.

The Mamey Sapotes are scratching yellow but taking ages to soften – there is a large crop waiting to be picked but they won’t be ready for another few weeks.

We have picked our first Abius for some months – fairly small fruit but very tasty and the trees are now in full bloom again.

We transplanted two 15 year old Jaboticabas last season from another orchard which was going to chop them down. The shift seems to have worked out and there are now flower buds forming on the branches of one tree. Great joy.

The hand pollinating of Salaks with Javan male pollen seems to be working, with Salak flowers setting fruit through the orchard. We are finding about 10 flowers on average each week for pollination. Walking around the orchard we look for the bright hot pink flowers located at the base of the palm. Sometimes the flower is hidden beneath the sheath, but we are getting rather good at identifying the swelling bud of the flower in time, before it withers and dies.

FRUIT TASTING

We have been averaging 20 – 25 people for the tasting, but it is starting to fade now in mid-August. The farm ducks have become part of the act as they fight over the Jakfruit remnants – it’s a little like feeding the lions. One of the ducks has taken to visiting the Gazebo and checking out the full compost buckets while Digby is doing the farm walk. Mia has learned the rules for chasing ducks now and lies in wait for the renegade and chases him out of the Gazebo with great joy.

Alas – the breadfruit chips have now finished as well as the Custard Apples and Pommelos are on the last few weeks of supply. Jakfruit, Star Apples, and Sapodilla are now starting to be offered on the tasting. Fruit is rather limited in its availability at the moment and we are definitely on the scrounge.

The fruit on the menu for the tasting is currently

  • West Indian Lime
  • Papaya
  • Carambola
  • Yellow Sapote
  • Golden Passionfruit
  • Soursop
  • Black Sapote
  • Jakfruit
  • Abius
  • Jaboticaba
  • Pommelo
  • Sapodillas
  • Star Apples

FARM ACTIVITIES

Nothing much is happening on the farm apart from the regular spraying for seaweed. We have spent some time pruning back the suckers from the cyclone damaged trees and cutting off the roots which are still sticking up like spiders legs out of the ground. It hasn’t been warm enough to make the grass grow so the pressure has been off.

RECIPE OF THE MONTH

Jakfruit Upside-Down Pudding

1 cup of Jakfruit segments

30gms butter, melted

150 gms caster sugar

120 gms butter

2 eggs beaten

180 gms self-raising flour

Walnut pieces

Shredded coconut

Vanilla essence

Use the melted butter to cover the base of a large ovenproof dish with a base about 7 inches square. Sprinkle 30 gms of caster sugar over it and arrange the Jakfruit segments and walnuts over the base with the grated coconut.

Cream the butter with the remaining sugar. Beat in the eggs.

Fold in the flour and some vanilla essence.

Spoon this mixture over the Jakfruit, spreading it evenly.

Bake in the centre of a moderate oven 180 degrees C for 45-60 minutes.

Turn upside down onto a warm plate. Cut in to squares and serve with cream or ice cream.

THE BED AND BREAKFAST PROJECT

After much pressure, the pole component of our timber order was finally delivered. Each pole had to be dragged in from the front gate by the little tractor – which did all the poles except for the last 2 big ones and a neighbour then lent a hand and used his four wheel drive to tow the tractor which was towing the poles – quite a procession along Nicole Drive.

The poles are now in place using a large tripod and a winch to put them into place plus a lot of sweat and muscle. The highest pole in the centre is 7 metres high and the whole structure now looks like the Stone Henge and has a similar presence – standing in isolation on the edge of the rainforest. The verandah will have a great view looking down into the creek. Some local fallen timber – Silver quandong has been cut up into 4" x 2" by some locals with a portable mill. It is now stacked and will have to dry for 3 months before we can use it. The remainder of our timer order is now 6 weeks overdue.

WEBSITE

We now have a registered business name "Cape Trib Exotic Fruit Farm", and a Web Domain Name of www.capetrib.com.au, which is rather amazing. This means that our mailing address is now alison@capetrib.com.au and digby@capetrib.com.au. We can issue unlimited e-mail addresses so hope to recoup some of the cost for setting up the name in the first place by selling off the capetrib.com.au to local Internet users. Our Web site is now in the process of being shifted to http://www.capetrib.com.au We are planning to develop a Cape Tribulation page with all the businesses involved and include a lot about the natural history and the environmental conflicts. Any local person who wants a page on our Web can have one with a capetrib.com.au address.

HOLIDAY PLANS

As per our last newsletter we still need a housesitter for February 2000.

That’s all the news from Cape Trib for August

Alison and Digby

 

 

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Bed and Breakfast accommodation on an exotic tropical fruit orchard at Cape Tribulation in the heart of the Daintree Rainforest
Cape Trib Exotic Fruit Farm, Lot 5 Nicole Drive, Cape Tribulation, Queensland, 4873, Australia - Tel: 0740 980057 - Fax: 0740 980067
info@capetrib.com.au.

Last updated December 19, 2013