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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WEATHER REPORT - AUGUST - winter has finished
WEATHER REPORT - SEPTEMBER - starting to build up for the wet
FRUIT HARVEST - 50 Salaks with fruit
FRUIT TASTING - Jakfruit is back on the menu
FARM ACTIVITIES - Dingo eats the ducks
DIGBY IN SAMOA - some insights
RECIPE OF THE MONTH - Palusami - a Samoan favourite
BED AND BREAKFAST - at least we have the timber


From the Pilgrim Sands Weather Station – Gail TrueloveThe end of August has brought an end to Winter as we know it here in the tropics. Rainfall for August was 218.1mm (spread over 21 days), quite a bit more than the average of 133.8mm; the first time in 4 months that we had above average rainfall. The wettest day was 6 August with 65.5mm. Temperatures fluctuated depending on whether it was a rainy or sunny day. The coolest day was 5 August which plunged to 20.5 degrees C and only dropped to 19 degrees C that night. By the end of the month we were consistently getting 26 -28 degrees C. (Average maximum is 25.8 ). The coldest night was 17 degrees C on 15 August and the warmest nights were 2,3,10,11 August with 21 degrees C. (Average minimum is 20.3 degrees C). Alas, I fear our delightfully cool weather will soon be a distant memory.


" Spring is sprung" and Cape Tribulation welcomed in the new season in the usual way with 3 days of cold, windy, showery weather. Fortunately this did not continue and we soon had warm sunny days and delightfully cool nights, however the winds continued to blow which was not so good for the boaties. We had 15 days on which rain fell, mostly at the beginning and end of the month, with a total of 79.8mm just below the average of 96.4mm. Wednesday 29th won the "Golden Gumboot" award with 53.5mm. The average maximum temperature for this September was 27.9 degrees C, a fraction below the 13 year average of 28.1. The hottest day being Sunday 17th with 31 degrees C and the coolest day was Wednesday 1st with 23 degrees. Minimum temperatures were very close to average with this month having 21.1 degrees C and the 13 year average being 21 degrees. Sunday 5 September was the coldest night of the month with a chilly 19 degrees while the warmest night was Thursday 30th with 23 degrees. the weather is certainly warming up as we start heading into the build-up to "the wet".(Unfortunately this will be the last weather report from Gail at Pilgrim Sands as they have just sold the business and are madly packing and making plans for when they finally depart early in the New Year – we will miss this regular report - thanks Gail)


We are harvesting Rollinia, Grumichamas, Jakfruit, Soursop and Abius at the moment. The Rambutan are in heavy flower and so are the Abius. The Salaks are still producing flowers which we are fertilizing by hand about twice a week. There would be at least 50 Salaks now bearing small fruit.The Carambolas have just finished unfortunately, but the trees have started flowering again in the last week. We still have two Durian hanging in there – two small fruit the size of your fist.


The fruit on the tasting is

  • West Indian Lime
  • Papaya
  • Jakfruit
  • Jaboticaba
  • Grumichama
  • Malay Roseapple
  • Star Apples
  • Rollinia
  • Soursop
  • White Sapote
  • Mamey Sapote
  • Black Sapote
  • Taro

The major disaster on the farm has been a dingo visiting each day for a duck breakfast, a duck lunch and a duck dinner. It has decimated the flock which is now reduced to 10 birds (from 50) and the ducks are locked up all day and hand fed.With the weather getting hotter, the grass has started to grow again furiously – and of course this is when all the grass cutting machinery starts to break down, especially when Digby is not around to fix it – having gone to Samoa – read the next section for more details.


I have just spent 3 weeks in Western Samoa (now called Samoa) as part of an AusAID training program to help farmers and agriculture advisers reduce their dependence on chemical pesticides. I though we had a rock problem at Cape Trib but discovered that it could be worse. One of the farms we visited doesn’t have a weed problem because every bit of soil has a cabbage sitting in it, the rest of the farm is rocks. Climate and terrain are very similar to Cape Trib and the same array of fruits although cultural practices mean that not all of them make it into the market. Taro was one of the major exports until wiped out by a fungal blight arriving from Hawaii, now just beginning to reappear as resistant strains are introduced. One farmer we visited was in the middle of preparing a feast for his niece’s wedding - roast piglet, breadfruit and taro cooking in a pile of hot rocks. One of the side dishes was Palusami, a real treat he gave us to sample.I learned that green coconuts can be kept refrigerated for some time if the eyes are kept covered by the fibre – it was a refreshing change to see them in the refridgerator next to the Coca Cola – and the average Samoan male can pick and husk 10 coconuts inside 5 minutes – and that includes climbing the tree to cut them down. It all looked so easy but a little more tricky than it looked when I tried to put their techniques into practice back in Cape Trib.



  • Young taro leaves. (or Ceylon Spinach, silverbeet etc)
  • Thick coconut cream.
  • Onion
  • Banana leaf (or foil)
  • Breadfruit leaf (not needed if you are using an oven)

Lightly fry onion and mix with coconut cream. Spread coconut cream onto each taro leaf and stack them into a fist sized pile. Wrap in larger leaf to make a neat parcel. Wrap in a wilted banana leaf or foil and bake in a moderate oven for 30 minutes. If you cook this in coals, wrap in a breadfruit leaf to prevent charring.


Stalled for the moment thanks to the Samoa trip. At least the poles are all in and the homemade genset has been overhauled and is running again after a 3 year rest. All the timber for the frame has now been cut and delivered. Mostly Rosegum and some Turpentine - both very dense eucalypt species, so getting the 7 meter main beams (250 X 75mm) into position could be quite entertaining, as I can barely lift one end off the ground.



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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

Last updated December 19, 2013