How to make the most of feijoa season
Crisp and sweet, yet tangy and soft, the taste of fresh feijoas cannot be replicated. For New Zealanders, feijoas seem to be everywhere at the moment. Like a yearly epidemic sweeping the country they are being offloaded into workplaces in any form possible.
For those with fruiting trees, hundreds of the green morsels will be carpeting your lawn (and also possibly your neighbours). We know it can be difficult to keep up with picking, and would hate to see these tasty fruits go to waste. Here is some of our best advice on how to maintain and deal with your abundance of feijoas this season.
4 easy recipes to use excess feijoas
If eating raw feijoas day after day is getting a bit tiresome, try these easy recipes to make use of a few cupfuls.
The classic feijoa and apple crumble dessert will never miss the mark. A great warmer on colder evenings and easy enough to get kids to help out with. But if you’ve already made enough crumbles, have a go at this feijoa crumble slice from NZ’s Nadia Lim as a lunchbox treat.
Feijoa, date and ginger loaf, another great lunchbox addition that keeps well and uses lots of feijoas! Great toasted for breakfast with lashings of butter, or as an afternoon snack.
Feijoa ice blocks! Enough of the baking and extra sugar, simply blend feijoas, canned pineapple and some orange juice together, then spoon into ice block moulds. Kids will love them and they are a healthier dessert option.
Feijoa and white chocolate muffins, these have a bit more flavour than just plain feijoa muffins. The white chocolate adds some luxury to these easy muffins and are sure to impress.
If you’ve had enough of baking, try a few preserving methods:
Freeze them and save for later. Just peel and throw in some freezer bags. Great for baking a few months down the track, or to toss into a smoothie.
Feijoa chutney, simple to make and very delicious! Beats paying big bucks at the supermarket and is great with crackers, sandwiches in cooking and so much more.
For something a bit sweeter and slightly more adventurous try a Feijoa Jelly. A little more preparation is required, but the result is very unique. But best of all, no peeling involved, wahoo!
If all else fails and you’re almost tossing your falling fejoias straight into the compost - get your kids to set-up a stall selling them. Buy or reuse bags, and set-up a manufacturing line with your kids. They can make signs, set-up a table outside and make a few extra dollars. Very popular for those who’s only access to feijoas is for $7 a kg at the supermarket!
Feijoa tree care tips
If you have missed out on the feijoas this season, it’s not too late - you can plant one now, or any time of the year really. Autumn is a great time so the roots can settle in and get ready for growth in Spring. If you are in a colder climate and could be expecting snow, hold off until the soil is a bit warmer during Spring time. There are a few different types of feijoas out there, so you can do some research and plant your favourite.
Why should you plant a feijoa tree?
Feijoas are great for the garden and super easy to look after. If you want to feel like successful gardener these are definiely the way to go! Feijoa trees are not affected by many diseases or pests and with a little compost and feed once a year you are good to go.
Harvesting the feijoas
It is best to let your feijoas ripen naturally on the branch. When they do fall, don’t let them sit for too long on the lawn as the dew on the grass will make them go bad quickly. Gently pick your feijoas from your tree by cupping the fruit, and lifting gently to see if it will fall off without much effort.
Feijoa trees also make great hedges. they stop wind and will grow just about anywhere as they can cope with a bit of sun, snow and sand. The Sellowiana feijoa is most commonly used for hedges, the type of feijoas they produce can vary - mostly producing small and sour fruit and great for pollinating other trees. They will generally grow 1.5-2m wide so make sure you plant them a good distance apart.
Pruning feijoa hedges and trees
The best time to prune your trees are the winter after fruiting. For your hedges it is best to cut them back about 1/3 in size, you can do this once a year. If you have a large hedge that might require some equipment definitely give your local Crewcut operator a call, as most locations offer hedge trimming services. For regular feijoa trees (not for hedges) pruning isn’t necessary, but if your tree is struggling to produce fruit this could help. Prune it back after fruiting in winter and you may find that with more branches exposed to light, next year will be more fruit.
Feijoas can definitely become a garden nuisance if you don’t keep an eye on them. You miss a few days and the whole lawn could be covered, so try to keep up with them this season and make use of them all! Try not to let them sit too long on the grass, if you can, sweep them out of the way and into the compost if they are rotting. Your lawn mower will thank you, and it will deter animals from taking all the good fruit left on the tree.