Atlanta Fruitman’s Blog

invasion of the dog penis
May 25, 2009, 9:49 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Sorry for the vulgar title, but seems appropriate for what is happening in the yard. I saw these things last year in the yard for the first time and was rather fascinated by them. This year they came back in an even wider area.  after a little research, I discovered that these are Stinkhorn mushrooms. They are not a sign of anything bad, but they are alarming in the shape, color (in my case) and smell. The on shown here is from recent mushroom walk. The one in my yard is a little smaller and is red in color. The smell is maybe one of somewhere between stinky cheese and sweaty underwear. 🙂    …but yet kinda yeasty

I was told that it is eaten in Asia. I don’t think I will try it this time, but I do plan on examining it further. I have it in the house right now and the smell lingers everywhere.

Maybe I will light a few matches.




Ode to thomasville
May 23, 2009, 6:04 pm
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This is another old one of last year that I put up because of some interest in citrus growing in Atlanta.

though my love has cooled just bit, because a few minor problems I have had in recent years with it. It is still a great tree to try out.


I love Thomasvilles!

I know all of you are saying WTF!
So let me back up.
I got some fruit seedlings from the bamboo garden in Savannah, GA. of a hardy citrus called Thomasville Citrangequate. This was from a gorgeous 30+ year old tree with deadly 4 inch spikes surrounding the base. So yes, you can grow citrus in Atlanta. The great thing about the tree is that it is VERY precocious. It started fruiting in its fourth year from seed. Thats good for most trees, but great for citrus. Most dont get going till their tenth.

But why do I love this tree so much. Well, maybe it was partly due to the wait, but also the look, taste and experience of eating this fruit is very special. The fruit is teardrop shaped and can range in size from a medium size fig to a good sized plum. My first crop was flawless orange yellow which gave a nice contrast to very dark green leaves. Because of it Kumquat heritage, there is not bitter pith to the fruit. In fact, the skin is mildly sweet, which contrast nicely to the sharp sourness of the pulp. The pulp tastes like a grapefruit to me. The lack or pith means you eat the fruit WHOLE! There may be a 3-5 seeds in there (which you will easily find and save!) I am the type that eats a good grapefruit without sugar( if I can peel the pith and membrane off). The skin also gives you that little tingle on your tongue and lips that Grapefruit rind give if you ever had candy from the rind. So this gave a joyous experience eating the fruit. Unlike most kumquats the the fruit was juicy and big enough to take few bites from just one.

Now in the off chance you have heard of this fruit, you may have also heard that it has the “Poncirus wang” taste to it (The very hardy Poncirus being another part of its heritage). That may be true for some, but I can say I have never tasted it mine. I tend to believe that there may be a 2 or more races of these Thomasvilles and I happened to get the one that dosent have this taste, or maybe I and my friend just dont taste it. I can say I am a “super taster” so I dont know.

My tree is growing fast, I cant wait till I get enough of these little gems to share with people and to make things with them. I cant say this is my favorite tree in the yard yet. I is usually is what ever I am harvesting at the time, but can say I will really look forward to tasting the fruit and propagating this tree next year!

PS: another surprise for this year have been my Ichang lemon that has leaves that smell like the more tropical Kiefer Lime!

May 17, 2009, 2:44 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Well, it seem like my bush cherries are ready.  Anyone who knows me has probably heard me mention them.

These are very productive low-care cherries that grow on 6 foot high bushes. They are usually the first fruits to flower and ripen. Now when I mean they are productive, I mean they tend to bend all the branches with fruit. The birds love them as well.  I first I was netted the bushes, but now there generally so many fruits I dont bother. They do have some problems though. The fruit is very delicate. I have to be eaten fresh or within a few days. That also means they cant be easily pitted (at least I havent been able to). Another curious fact is that the cherries will lose its color once cooked – turning into this pink Peptobismol colored goo. This would not make the most attractive preserve. I usually end up freezing most of them and eating them as a snack in the summer heat.

This year the bushes flowered as usual, but I did get the fruit productivity as last year.There are still more than I care to pick, but not a huge amount. It is far worse on my Stalla Dwarf cherry. I have maybe 4-5 fruits!! My theory is all the rain we have been having. There was a period of about a week that it rained almost everyday last month. This was when my bushes and tree were in full bloom.  It restricted the bees from pollinating or maybe the rain did something to the blooms.

Anyway, no tree cherries and few bush cheries this year.