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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The Davidson Plum story

Our Davidson Plums have been fruiting for more than four weeks now,
and I have been turning them into jam, dessert sauce and trying out
plums marinating in rum. The flavour is very close to Blackcurrant,
once the acidity has been masked with enugh sugar. The character of
the jam is excellent - a very strong taste coming through over the

It is interesting to introduce them to visitors at the fruit tasting.
The raw fruit is so sour that there is general rejection after the
first taste, but some people can pick up the flavour coming through
and a few are really enthusiastic about the possibilities. What makes
this fruit special is the fact that it is an Australian rainforest
native tree, one of only a handful that are edible - Davidsonia
pruriens. It can be found in rainforests as far south as northern New
South Wales, and it must be a feature of the Bush food industry but I
don't really know much about it. We buy a biodynamic yoghurt from the
Tablelands - Mungalli Yoghurt which actually as one flavour made with
Davidson Plum.

We grow our trees in the orchard, well spaced with irrigation. The
plums drop off the tree when ripe and you just collect them off the
ground each morning over a 2 month period in July-August. It all
seems so easy - until the Cockatoos find them, and descend on the
trees and destroy unripe plums looking for the seeds. Despite this we
are still planning to plant more Davison Plum into our orchard and
currently have about 100 seedlings in the nursery waiting for the
next wet season.

Our coffee experience

Coffee processing is underway. Two of our coffee bushes finally
produced a large crop which I have very carefully picked over severl
weeks and frozen the cherries until there was enough to do something
with them. The crop finished and we had 13 boxes of coffee cherries
in the freezer.

My sister is married to a member of a famous Italian coffee dynasty
in Melbourne who are happy to roast our beans - send them a minimum
of 5 kilos and they will mix it with some organic coffee beans from
East Timor to make a Cape Trib blend. Sounded so easy. With 13 boxes
in the freezer surely we had enough.

Did a web search and found a great site on Coffee Processing in the
Home which I followed step by step, and added my own variations. A
tip from Dawn, one of the locals in the Mossman Rare Fruit Group had
me using my old fashioned meat mincer to get the flesh off the beans.
And it worked brilliantly, but then it was all mashed together and
need to be separated. Into a bucket of water and the flesh is meant
to float to the top. Well it sort of does. Sitting around buckets of
water dipping in and lifting out the flesh and trying to leave the
beans behind. A couple of days with the beans soaking in water as the
fermentation removed the sticky bits around the beans. Then 3 days of
drying the beans in the sun, which co-operated. Now the tricky bit -
getting the hull of the bean.

All the time I am doing this I sing the old Nescafe jingle - 43 beans
in every cup of Nescafe - and wonder how many cups of coffee we are
actually going to finish up with. It seems to be getting less by the
minute. And I keep asking myself - how do they do this in developing
countries. Who can ever say coffee is expensive? The food processor
comes into its own and manages to dehusk most of the beans. Now to
separate the beans from the husks. The vacuum cleaner in reverse
turns out to be a suitable tool blowing the fine parchment away. Then
a final separation of the beans by hand. Are we going to finish up
with 5 kilos? - I don't think so. Looks like it will be a home roast.
And boy! people better appreciate it - there has been a huge amount
of labour so far:

Picking - 4 hours
Pulping - 2hours
Fermenting - 1 day
Drying - 3 days
Hulling - 3hours

And we still have the roasting to go. I will keep you posted. I can't
face the roasting just now - I am having a rest from the arduousness
of the labour. Think I need a cup of coffee.



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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