starter trees

2017/01/10 deej 0

We’ve hit the new year with all the right energy, planting trees. There are all these sayings about trees, like “the best time to plant a tree is ten years ago; the second best time is now” and “a society grows wise when [people] plant trees in whose shade they will never sit” (implying planting trees for the benefit of future generations), and it all boils down to: trees taker a long time to get established. Start them as soon as you can.


Trees (and shrubs, and other deep-rooted perennial plants) are essential for a food forst, or any forest-like permaculture system. They’re also really useful for rehabilitating damaged or degraded landscapes, especially where salinity is a problem (deep-rooted perennial plants lower the water table and reduce salinisation of surface soils by salty groundwater). Many trees are also highly productive, giving a higher yield per area in terms of food value produced than most annuals, often with less care, maintenance, and irrigation.


But trees are harder to get established than annuals. They are longer lived and therefore slower growing, slower to mature and reach productivity, slower to get established. And fruiting (or otherwise productive) tree species are often quite delicate in a WA context, and don’t handle the heat or the dry weather very well. There are exceptions, but usually permies will want to start out by planting some nurse trees, to get some soil bacteria established and shade the ground a little to stop all the moisture baking out of it in the summer. If they fix some nitrogen, or have some other use, all the better. Some of these phase 1 trees will continue on in the final forest system, while others may die natural deaths (fast growing short-lived trees will naturally be senescing when your main canopy starts to mature) or be removed (and mulched or used for timber) to make space in the canopy for the productive trees to grow into.


After three years of trial and error, and research, we’ve got a pretty good handle on what trees work well in the context of the Perth hills (600 – 800 mm rainfall per year, mostly over winter, temperatures ranging up to 42 degrees C in summer and down to zero degrees C in winter, possible light frosts in winter, sandy laterite gravel soils with some clay content, high fire risk in summer) with minimal additional irrigation. So here are some of our top picks for the stage one planting on a degraded site.


  • (1) Wattles. Not all wattles are native to the area, but they seem to behave as if they are. They’re fast-growing, nitrogen fixing, and shade-providing, making them excellent nurse trees for later planting fruit trees. We’ve put in all species with edible seeds, meaning that they’re also a food producing plant: jam wattle (Acacia acuminata), prickly wattle (Acacia victoriae), mulga (Acacia aneura), silver wattle (Acacia dealbata), coastal wattle (Acacia sophorae), and dogwood (Acacia coriacea). Grow easily from seed; fast growing.


  • (2) Empress Tree or Princess Tree (Paulownia tormentosa). These need a bit of babying for the first year or two, but once established they’re virtually unkillable. They coppice well (i.e. resprout from the roots), and they create beautiful deep shade with their large, soft leaves. They’re fire retardant (i.e. they’re hard to burn, and fires will generally stop at them as if at a firebreak), and their flowers are a very good nectar source for bees. Grow easily from seed; fast growing.


  • (3) Jacarandas (Jacaranda mimosifolia) are hardy, tough, and beautiful. Their only real use (other than shade and soil stabilisation) is that the flowers are a good nectar source for bees, but I love them. Flowering jacarandas have always been my marker for spring. Grow easily from seed; fast growing.


  • (4) Illawarra flame trees (Brachychiton acerifolius) need a biut of support through their first summer, and they suffer quite badly from defoliation by grasshoppers, but they’re pretty tough. Their seeds are theoretically edible (were used for food by some Aboriginal groups), but the seed pods contain irritating fine hairs similar to the glochids on prickly pear cactus. They can cause blindness if they get into your eyes, so be careful handling the seeds and seed pods.


  • (5) Honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) are similar in appearance to jacarandas, with feathery leaves, but they don’t have the showy flowers of the jacaranda. Their seed pods (and leaves) are useful as stock feed, though; high in sugar and minerals. There is some indication that honey locusts may be nitrogen fixing, although they are non-nodulating – it’s controversial, but they do show many of the characteristics of nitrogen fixing trees, including thriving in low N soils. Grow easily from seed; fast growing.


  • (6) Olives (Olea europea) are not fast growing trees, but they are very hardy. They need very little support after their first year in the ground (although extra water and fertiliser will encourage them to grow faster), and are a commercially productive tree. Propagate from cuttings of known varieties.


  • (7) Casuarina or Allocasuarina species – I’m not actually sure what species the ones we have are, as they self-seeded from local stands. Could be Allocasuarina decussata, or possibly Allocasuarina huegeliana. Whatever exact species they are, they produce copious quantities of pollen for the bees, and the foliage can be used as livestock feed for ruminants. Given they volunteered (self-seeded), they must grow easily from seed, and they do grow fast. I’ll try deliberately planting some seeds this autumn and see how that goes.


  • (8) Frangipani (Plumeria spp.) are surprisingly tough, and can be grown very easily from cuttings. They give good shade, and drop a lot of leaves in winter, providing some good soil-building biomass. I can’t find a corroborating link right now, but the petals of the frangipani flower are edible, and can be added to salads. I have not done any toxicity testing, so eat at your own risk, but I have eaten them with no ill effects.


Amusingly, fig trees don’t make this list. People think that figs are tough and hardy, and they are – once established. Getting them there though.. they have to be babied through their first 2 – 4 years in the ground with extra water and a lot of care. We have killed four baby fig trees learning this.


Pomegranates should be a good option, as long as they are in full sun. So far our pomegranate experiments have not done well, because we mistakenly thought that full sun in Europe would = some midday shade in WA. Not true. After 2 years of not growing and barely surviving, with permanently yellow leaves, we gave in and dug the 2 baby pomegranate sup, and moved them to a full sun location to see what would happen. One didn’t survive the transplant, but the other is thriving for the first time ever and actually growing. I’ve ordered some more young trees, which will go into the ground when they arrive in nice, sunny locations, and I’ve planted some seeds from a supermarket fruit to see what happens. If they germinate reasonably easily, I may import some new genetics from the US and the middle east in seed form and start playing with pomegranate breeding.


Apples, pears and quinces do remarkably well if provided with a bit of additional water in summer (not much water is needed to keep them alive, but they need it regularly – twice a week). They do summer complete defoliation from the grasshoppers though, so either spray them with insecticide (neem oil is great) or net them. Guinea fowl do help keep the grasshopper population down, but they don’t provide sufficient control to keep the trees alive without spraying or netting.


The next experiments (currently in seed trays, hopefully germinating soon) include moringa (Moringa oleifera), graceful honey myrtle (Melaleuca radula), and bottlebrush (Callistemon spp. – locally collected seed). We also have poplar (Populnus nigra) and willow (Salix spp.) cuttings growing, to plant out this autumn, and some lilly pilly (Syzygium smithii) seedlings in the ground to see how they go.


The experiments never end though. I want to try putting in some tagasaste (Cytisus proliferus, also known as Chamaecytisus palmensis) and leucana (Leucaena leucocephala), and some black mulberry (Morus nigra) seedlings. I’d like to try some riberry (Syzygium luehmannii) plants too, if I can find some.


plant profile: rosemary

2016/11/30 deej 0

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) grows brilliantly in Perth. It’s commonly planted as a hedge, and can easily be collected (in Perth, it’s a great urban foraging target, because it’s planted so widely, and grows so enthusiastically). Rosemary is very strongly flavoured, but it can be used in salads as well as for flavouring food, and can also be used to make a caffeine free tea (technically an infusion). Rosemary is also a fantastic bee plant, with a long flowering period.


Although often used to flavour lamb or mutton dishes, rosemary works equally well with goat, pork, rabbit, fish or chicken. I haven’t tried it with other poultry (duck, goose, quail, squab, …) although I suspect it would work. It can work really well with beef too, as long as you don’t over-salt the dish. Try using the long stems of the rosemary shrub, stripped of leaves, as skewers for kebabs – meat or vegetable – for a summer BBQ. The leaves can be infused in oil or vinegar, which then makes a great salad dressing.


We have several rosemary plants around the house, both in the herb garden and other spots. I love the smell of it, which is released whenever you brush past it or run your hand through the foliage. I also put rosemary sprigs in my cupboards to (a) scent the sheets, blankets, etc., and (b) discourage moths. I don’t know if it actually does discourage moths, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. Ours are all the traditional blue-flowered variety, but I’m trying to grow some cuttings of a variegated blue rosemary, and a pink flowered type.


Rosemary grows very easily from cuttings. It’s one of the easiest plants to root, along with hibiscus, pelargoniums, willow and frangipanis. Cut a piece of rosemary at least 10 – 20 cm in length, and trim the leaves off the bottom half to two thirds of the stem, then stick the end in some good compost or potting mix and keep it moist. The remaining leaves will mostly die, but the stick will start putting out new leaves in  a week or two. You can use some rooting hormone powder on the base of the cutting, but it isn’t necessary with rosemary.

What rosemary needs:

  • Water – Newly planted rosemary needs to be watered every day in hot weather, or every few days in cool or rainy weather. Once established, the plants are very drought hardy and can survive an entire WA summer without supplementary water if they have to. A good soak (2 – 5 L per plant) every week or two does help though.


  • Sunlight – Full sun. These pretties evolved in the dry hills of the Mediterranean; they don’t like shade. Established plants can handle part shade, but they thrive in full sunlight.


  • Soil – Well drained, sandy soils are best. Rosemary doesn’t seem to care if the soil is a bit acid or a bit alkaline, and they have some salt tolerance. They’re a good coastal plant, really. Don’t plant them in heavy clay, as they don’t like wet feet or boggy ground.


  • Space – An adult rosemary bush will, if left unattended, sprawl across about a square m, and grow about 1 m tall. They take pruning very well, though, and can be kept contained by pruning to size or even clipping to make a hedge. Rosemary will grow happily in a large pot as well, and can survive indoors as long as it gets lots of light.


  • Warmth – Rosemary likes the heat, but can handle the cold. Damaged by heavy frosts.


What rosemary has to offer:

  • Edible leaves and flowers.


  • Decorative, hardy landscaping plant.


  • More rosemary from cuttings or seed.


  • Good against soil erosion; it roots strongly and deeply without being invasive.


Images sourced from Wikimedia Commons:

Olives for integrated livestock-orchards

2016/11/14 deej 0

I’ve been doing an awful lot of research, recently, into integrated agroforestry and pastured livestock farming systems. Specifically the system of pasture and productive woodland common to the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) which is commonly called  dehesa, or montado in Portugal.


Although the traditional dehesa forests are primarily made up of cork oak (Quercus suber) and holm oak (Quercus ilex), the system could work with any number of tree species. It’s basically a Mediterranean silvopasture system, with scattered tree cover (using trees which produce some sort of commercially valuable product) with pasture and animals grazing underneath. Traditional dehesa systems often include pasture raised pigs, which are fattened in the autumn on the acorns dropped by the oak trees and then slaughtered to make premium jamon iberico. The fallen leaves of the oak trees are also a useful fodder resource for pigs, sheep, goats, and cattle, supplementing the available pasture.


In an Australian context it turns out that oak trees aren’t really the way to go unless you’re planting a forest for pleasure. There’s a limited international market for cork (and even more limited domestic market), and the trees take around 25 – 35 years to produce a viable cork harvest (and can thereafter be harvested only every 9 – 10 years). There is no existing market for acorns, in spite of their value as pig feed, and the fact that when they’re properly processed they are entirely edible to humans too. And they’re gluten free, but provide a similar gumming capability to gluten, useful in baked goods.


Rather than oak trees, an Australian dehesa style system would work best if it used trees which produced a crop faster, and one for which there is an existing market. That still leaves several options, and the choice depends largely on the local climate (rainfall, available chill hours and heat units) and on what type of livestock will be included in the system. For example, apples or plums are a great option if (a) your region gets enough rainfall for them to thrive, (b) your region gets cold enough for long enough over winter to ensure good fruit set, and (c) you want to keep pastured poultry (turkeys, chickens, or geese will clean up windfall fruit and help control fruit fly, but won’t eat the foliage of the trees – which is potentially toxic). In warmer and lower rainfall regions, some of the best options in terms of market value, yield and productivity are date palms, pomegranates, and pistachio nuts. And olive trees.


Olive trees are appealing because they’re already widely planted, and there’s a huge market for both table olives and olive oil. The commodity prices may rise and fall, but it doesn’t look like the demand for olives and olive oil are likely to drop significantly any time soon. And of course, olive trees are beautiful, graceful trees which never fail to make me happy when I see them. One of my fondest memories from travelling in South America was the 100 year old olive grove in Lima, Peru; gnarled, old trees which had clearly been pruned and trained so that they could be easily harvested. They were in this tiny park on a median strip in the middle of a huge, super busy road, but they were still so peaceful and majestic. Yeah. I like olive trees.


We use olive oil for almost everything ourselves, and we go through about a litre of the stuff every six weeks. Sometimes a bit more, if I’m doing a lot of baking that month (yes, you can replace the butter in most recipes which call for butter with an equivalent volume of olive oil). Since the average yield for a mature olive tree is anywhere from 30 -80kg olives per year (averaging about 45kg per year for a ten year old tree), and the oil yield ranges from 12 – 21% (but averages around 18 – 20%), I worked out that six olive trees would more than cover us for our olive oil needs, and another six for all the table olives we can possibly eat. So I planned on twelve olive trees. We have seven in the ground already, so I went to order the remaining five – and promptly ordered twelve instead, because.. well.. olive trees are so lovely and I wasn’t sure which variety to get more of so I got three of each. The varieties we have are: Kalamata, Koroneiki, New Norcia Mission (a variant of Frantoio), and Manzanillo. They last week (ordered from Mission Horticulture, who were great), and will be going into the ground this week.


The other joy of olive trees is that the tree is remarkably multifunctional. The foliage can be eaten by ruminants (and pseudo-ruminants like rabbits), although due to the tannins it isn’t hugely nutritious. The raw fruit can be eaten by poultry and pigs, and I can’t vouch for the nutritional content but the chickens seem to love raw olives. Weird birds. They’re not harmful to ruminants either, although not necessarily beneficial, so you could keep just about any livestock under olive trees. The leftover press cake from pressing out the olive oil can also be fed to ruminants or poultry, and there are studies to show that it is actually reasonably nutritious, high in protein and energy. The tree is evergreen, and provides a lovely cool shade which still isn’t deep enough to kill grass or flowers grown under it. Trees which are big enough are eminently climbable, with smooth, greyish bark which is a delight to the climber (yes, I climb trees at any opportunity). The timber (from pruned branches of course – who would cut down an olive tree??) is a beautiful golden colour with grey-green highlights, and is good for turning. And of course, olives and oil.


We’re not planning on producing olives or olive oil commercially, although we could.  The recommended planting density for a commercial orchard is anywhere from 100 – 500 trees/ha, but in a dehasa style system that would be lower. Maybe around 50 trees/ha, and livestock at 1 – 4 dry sheep equivalents (DSE)/ha. We’ll produce enough for ourselves, and once the trees are mature we may produce enough for friends and family. But that doesn’t change the fact that olives are a pretty good bet for a changing climate and a world poised to head into some tough times over the next few years. They’re tough, adaptable trees, and they thrive in our soils and with the fierce Australian sunshine while producing amazing food. They’re an example for the rest of us, really.


* DSE is the standard measure used for livestock density in Australia. A lactating ewe with twin lambs is about 2.4 DSE, a goat is about 1.5, and a cow is about 10 DSE. The measure refers to how much pasture an animal needs to eat each day to maintain body weight and health. DSE are not used for poultry or rabbits, but are sometimes used for emus and ostriches as well as the standard cattle, sheep, goats, alpacas, etc.





June 30: honeybee gardens

2016/06/30 deej 1

It’s the last day of June, the end of #BlogJune for this year. It’s been a challenge to keep up with a post every day, and we haven’t (as originally intended) managed to complete a farm or house task every day, but it’s been fun anyway. Today’s task has been using some of the kumquats I picked on the weekend, making most of them into candied kumquats, and some (along with some limes) into lime-and-kumquat-jelly (not marmalade, as I’ve sieved all but a few decorative strips of zest out of the jam, but basically lime marmalade flavoured – hopefully it sets). There are jars and bottles on the counter, cooling. I’ve also made a giant batch of vegetarian Boston Baked Beans, for a dinner party I’m attending this weekend. The whole house smells delightfully of spices, savoury beans, and citrus.


However, that is nto the topic of today’s post. Today I wanted to talk about bees again, and specifically about feeding your bees.


Bees consume pollen and nectar from flowering plants; the nectar gives them carbohydrates in the form of sugars, as well as minerals and essential vitamins, and the pollen provides them with protein. Most flowering plants produce nectar, and all produce pollen, but not all of these plants are useful for honeybees searching for food. On top of that, not all flower across the entire year, so if you want to keep your local bees fed it’s important to plant a variety of good bee fodder plants.


Bee plants include all sorts of flowers, from groundcovers and herbs to shrubs and trees, so no matter what type of garden you have you’ll be able to plant something for the bees. Here’s a list of some good ones for Perth. We plan to plant (or have already planted) most of these.


Casuarina: She-oaks (Casuarina and Allocasuarina species) are evergreen shrubs and trees, with the largest growing up to 35 m in height. They’re noted for the long, segmented branchlets they have which function as leaves. The branchlets (called cladodes) resemble conifer needles, even though she-oaks are flowering plants. The actual leaves are reduced to minute scales encircling each joint of the cladodes. Some she-oaks form symbiotic relationships with nitrogen-fixing soil bacteria, similar to legumes, so they’re a good plant to grow in poor soils. She-oaks don’t provide a lot of nectar, but they are a good pollen source, and as such are very important to bees, especially in spring when beehives are increasing their population.


Herbs: Basically all our culinary herbs are also great for bees, and most produce large quantities of both nectar and pollen. The best herbs for bees include thyme (Thymus spp.), oregano (Oreganum vulgare), and any type of sage (Salvia spp.) or mint (Mentha spp.). Borage (Borago officinalis) is also a good one, with beautiful little blue flowers which are very attractive to bees, and the leaves can be used in salads or cocktails for their cucumber-ish flavour.


Citrus: All citrus trees produce large quantities of fragrant nectar, which is why they are usually covered in honeybees when they flower. Any citrus tree you plant will be good for honeybees; if you’re not keen on loads of oranges, mandarins or grapefruit, try a lemon or lime tree, or a kumquat or calamondin. Citrus honey is pale in colour and mild flavoured, and is very highly regarded.


Lavender (Lavandula spp.): Lavender is a small, fragrant shrub which is highly attractive to bees (and the flowers and leaves can be used in human food too, as a flavouring). Lavender honey can be white to amber in colour and has an intense floral aroma. Lavender can be pruned into a formal box hedge, or left to itself to grow a slightly more uneven shape (which would fit in with a dune-vegetation or cottage style garden). Although it isn’t native, it can be grown with Australian natives and won’t look out of place, with its grey-green foliage.


Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis): Another fragrant, small shrub, rosemary is a magnet for honeybees – and the savoury flavour of the leaves mean its good for cooking with as well. Rosemary honestly grows like a weed in Perth – it will survive with little to no care, and if you occasionally water it or prune it a bit (for some leaves and sprigs to cook with), it will reward you with a mass of growth and lovely blue (or, depending on the variety, pink, lavender, or white) flowers. Rosemary honey has a slight herbal fragrance and flavour, and goes well with savoury as well as sweet dishes.


Grey Box (Eucalyptus microcarpa): Most Eucalyptus species are useful for nectar, but some produce better honey than others. Grey box is one of the best, flowering regularly and producing a richly flavoured honey with malt or caramel tones. It is a slow-growing tree, normally up to 25m in height (sometimes taller), native to south-eastern Australia. The flowers are white and appear from summer to winter. This is a very important honey plant in Victoria, less so in South Australia, New South Wales, and Queensland; it is of minor significance in Western Australia, but will grow here quite happily.


Guava (Psidium guajava): A favourite with honeybees, the guava tree’s flowers provide high quantities of both nectar and pollen. Guava honey is runny, and has a mild, pleasant flavour. Guava is a genus of about 100 species of tropical shrubs and small trees. The leaves are opposite, simple, elliptic to ovate, 5-15 cm long. The flowers are white, with five petals and numerous stamens. The fruit is round to pear-shaped, from 3-10 cm in diameter, with a thin rind which may be pale green, yellow, or pink to red, depending on species. The flesh of the fruit is sweet, white or pink-orange in colour with many small hard seeds, and a strong, characteristic aroma.


Wattles (Acacia spp.): Most wattles produce masses of pollen and nectar when they flower, and are frequented by any honeybees in their vicinity. Acacia species (both African acacias and Australian wattles) range in size from shrubs through small trees to a few canopy trees in some regions. The flowers are arranged in inflorescences that may be either globular heads or cylindrical spikes. Each inflorescence may comprise three or more individual flowers, up to 130 or more. Acacia species flower throughout the year although most flower during spring and summer rather than during autumn and winter.


Roses (Rosa spp.): The humble (or not so humble) rose flowers throughout spring and summer, especially if properly cared for and pruned, and provide a rich source of pollen and some nectar. There are over 100 species of rose, and thousands of cultivars and varieties. They include rambling groundcovers, climbers, and woody shrubs, with flowers ranging from pinks and purples through to reds, oranges, yellows, and white. Many garden roses, in spite of their association with English gardens, are actually very hardy once established, and thrive in Perth’s hot, dry climate and sandy soils.


Banana plants (Musa spp.): You didn’t realise that banana plants were a great food source for honeybees as well as humans, did you? They provide large quantities of nectar and pollen, and grow quickly to flowering stage. I don’t have any information on the honey produced, only that it is produced in large quantities and that beehives kept in banana plantations tend to be healthy and well fed.


Bottlebrush (Callistemon spp.): I’ve never seen a bottlebrush shrub or tree flowering that didn’t have honeybees gathered on the flowers. They love it. Bottlebrushes range from small shrubs to small trees, and their flowers range from white or pale yellow through pink to dark red. They produce a mild flavoured, smooth tasting honey.


Passionfruit (Passiflora edulis): A climbing perennial, passionfruit – or, more accurately, the passionflowers – produce large quantities of both pollen and nectar for honeybees. Passionfruit is a beautiful vine, and will easily give you a green wall if you give it something to climb on. It is evergreen, and flowers twice a year in Perth. The fruit may be yellow or purple on the outside when ripe, with a dark yellow, deliciously sweet-sour pulp and many black seeds inside.


This list is far from complete – there are many, many flowering plants which make great food sources for honeybees. Almost all herbs, vegetables, and heirloom variety garden flowers are perfect nectar sources, as are most fruit trees. Apple trees, and stone fruit are very well regarded as bee fodder plants. Old fashioned cottage garden flowers like alyssum, honeysuckle, sunflowers, and daisies of all sorts attract and feed bees, as do many flowering bulbs (daffodils, lily of the valley, ..). Many of the modern ‘potted colour’ flowers that you can buy at nurseries don’t produce much nectar or pollen, putting all their energy into showy flowers instead; flowering trees or shrubs, or heirloom variety vegetables or garden flowers are a better choice.


So, to make a long story short, if you want to help the bees, but you don’t want to keep a hive yourself, the most useful thing you can do is plant some flowers. 🙂 Go forth and garden.



June 29: Peach Palm (Pejibayes)

2016/06/29 deej 0

peach palm with fruitThe peach palm or pejibaye (Bactris gasipeas) is native to the lowland tropics of South and Central America. It was domesticated during the pre-Columbian era by the indigenous peoples of the Americas, and both the fruit and seeds have been used as food since then.


The texture of the fruit, raw or cooked, has been compared to a firm sweet potato, and the flavour is similar to squash, buttery potato, or roasted chestnut. Undamaged, raw fruits will keep well, gradually dehydrating, in a low humidity environment with good airflow. Bruised or damaged fruits, however, will ferment in only a few days. Cooked fruit will keep for 5 – 6 days. The fruit can be dried and ground as meal or flour, which can be used as a replacement for cornmeal, or stored as dried chips. It can also be pressed to produce an edible oil.


peach palm fruitRaw peach palm fruit contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can be irritating to the mouth and digestive system, so the fruit should be cooked before being consumed. Traditionally, the fruit is often slow cooked for three to five hours in salted water before being eaten, but half an hour or slightly less in a pressure cooker, oven or microwave will dissolve the calcium oxalate crystals, making the fruit safe to eat.


Cooked fruit may be deep-fried or roasted and eaten as a snack, or may be used as a stuffing for poultry. It can also be mixed with cornmeal or flour, milk and eggs, and fried to form griddle cakes or pancakes.



Peach Palm Fritters


*Note, as I don’t (yet) have access to any peach palm fruit, I haven’t tested this recipe. I’d love to hear what people think of it, though!


¼ cup wholemeal flour

¼ teaspoon baking powder

300 – 400g peach palm fruit, cooked, skinned and de-seeded

1 cup milk

2 eggs

(optional) chopped onion, corn kernels, chopped bacon, chopped herbs

Salt and freshly ground black pepper



  • Mash the peach palm fruit to a fine puree.
  • Combine all ingredients. Mix to form a loose batter.
  • Add olive oil or butter to a pan and set over medium heat. Drop teaspoonsful of batter into the hot pan and cook until golden brown on both sides.



Images sourced form Wikimedia Commons:

1 2 3 5