Tamarillo – The tree Tomato



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Tamarillo – Tree tomato

Tamarillo – Solanum betaceum
Solanum betaceum-IMG 0242.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Solanum
Species: S. betaceum
Binomial name
Solanum betaceum
  • Cyphomandra betacea (Cav.) Sendtn.
  • Cyphomandra crassifolia(Ortega) J.F. Macbr.
  • Pionandra betacea (Cav.) Miers
  • Solanum betacea Cav.
  • Solanum crassifolium Ortega
  • Solanum insigne Lowe

The tamarillo is a small tree or shrub in the flowering plant family Solanaceae (the nightshade family). It is best known as the species that bears the tamarillo, an egg-shaped edible fruit. It is also known as the tree tomato.


Flower cluster

The plant is a fast-growing tree that grows up to 5 meters. Peak production is reached after 4 years, and the life expectancy is about 12 years.The tree usually forms a single upright trunk with lateral branches. The flowers and fruits hang from the lateral branches. The leaves are large, simple and perennial, and have a strong pungent smell. The flowers are pink-white, and form clusters of 10 to 50 flowers. They produce 1 to 6 fruits per cluster. Plants can set fruit without cross-pollination, but the flowers are fragrant and attract insects.

The tamarillo trees are adaptable and very easy to grow.

The plants have to be protected from wind. Their shallow root system does not provide enough stability, and the lateral branches are fragile and break easily when carrying fruits.The tamarillo tree is, compared to similar crops such as tomatoes, quite resistant to pests in general.

The flesh of the tamarillo is tangy and variably sweet, with a bold and complex flavor, and may be compared to kiwifruit, tomato, guava, or passion fruit. The skin and the flesh near it have a bitter taste and are not usually eaten raw.


The fruits are high in pectin and therefore have good properties for preserves



Reference: Tamarillo







Essential Oils in the Garden


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Essential oils play several roles in the garden. They are a natural pest deterrent and as pests carry disease in the form of bacteria and viruses, the oil’s antibacterial and antiviral properties act as a form of preventative medicine for your garden. Fungi and mould are other problems essential oils can deal with quickly and effectively.
Strong healthy plants resist disease, and essential oils build up the health of plants, an example being that roses love to be in the company of garlic, basil or thyme and you can either plant them around the bush or use their essential oil when watering them. Add 2 drops of each essential oil to your watering can, mix well and water.
Essential oils not only control pests and make your crop stronger, they improve the taste and fragrance of the plant. Ants can be deterred by peppermint. To clear a nest just put 2 neat drops of peppermint oil directly onto the nest. If ants are coming into your house put 1 or 2 drops of oil where they enter. Thyme and lavender oils protect all vegetables and can be used in your watering can.
Of course, certain insects are essential for pollination, including bees, wasps and butterflies, and using essential oils in your garden will attract these useful insects. Bees especially like coriander.
Sprays can be used as insect deterrents, to banish fungi and mildew, or to encourage growth. Use 4 – 6 drops of essential oil in 4 litres of water for spraying onto flowers, fruit and vegetables. Treated with the antifungal essential oils the mould and fungi do not survive very long and simply disappear. Patchouli, Tea Tree and Cinnamon are recommended.
Slugs can be easily deterred using essential oils. They have an acute sense of smell and hate the smell of garlic. Add 1 teaspoon of oil to your watering can, mix well and water the area where the slugs and snails are causing damage.

Insect Essential Oil
Ants – peppermint, garlic, citronella
Aphids – peppermint, cedarwood, hyssop
Black Fly – lavender, tagetes
Caterpillars – peppermint
Fleas – lemongrass, citronella, lavender
Flies – lavender, citronella, peppermint, basil
Gnats – citronella, patchouli
Lice – peppermint, cedarwood
Mosquitoes – lavender, citronella, lemongrass
Slugs – garlic, cedar wood, pine
Snails – cedarwood, pine, garlic, hyssop
Ticks – thyme, citronella, sage
Weevils – sandalwood, citronella, sage

Vegetable Essential Oil
Asparagus basil
Green beans lavender, basil
Beetroot marjoram
Broccoli basil, thyme
Cabbage peppermint, sage, thyme
Cauliflower thyme
Celery geranium
Cucumber sage
Leeks hyssop
Lettuce tagetes
Onions chamomile
Peas geranium
Potatoes basil, sage
Tomatoes basil

The Bees Knees – Far South




Bringing RAW quality Honey to the Far South Peninsula Every tub, jar, squeeze bottle is traceable. Every batch is laboratory tested. Bulk sales : Some customers want to buy in bulk and fill their own containers, this is acceptable, however, we cannot give QA on the filling operation when we do not do the filling. We do offer QA on the product though and you have the benefit of our batch control and trace-ability system as it relates to the integrity of our product. Relatively few honey sellers realize that all honey must conform to the CPA. This is what distinguishes our HONEY!

Click here to order today


Prepare for the #FIRE SEASON – Become an #ECO-WARRIOR


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After the devastating fires we had in Simon’s Town last year, it is now time to become an Eco-Warrior! The Port Jackson is pushing up everywhere and will create a potential fire hazard, not to mention it smothering all the Fynbos, with is starting to rehabilitate.

Here is an interesting article written by Kay Montgomery, published in the Argus on 1 October.

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Moutain Herb Estate


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Moutain Herb Estate 001

Last week I was looking for Hyssop Officinalis to companion plant my Grape Vine.

I came across this delightful supplier online. I placed an order last Thursday for 4 plants to be couriered from Gauteng to the Western Cape. The plants arrived early on Monday morning in really good moist condition.

Thank you so must Zirkia for the fast, efficient and friendly service.

Please contact Mountain Herb Estate for all your herbal requirements.




Getting to know your Invasive Alien Plants – Furcraea foetida

Stown Furcraea_April 2016_b

Furcraea foetida – Mauritian Hemp
Category 1a invasive specie – Must be combated and eradicated. Any form of trade or planting is strictly prohibited.

Stown Furcraea_April 2016_a

Furcraea foetida is an evergreen perennial sub-shrub, stemless or with a short stem up to 1 m tall. The leaves are sword-shaped, 1-1.8 m long and 10–15 cm broad at their widest point, narrowing to 6–7 cm broad at the leaf base, and to a sharp spine tip at the apex; the margins are entire or with a few hooked spines. The flowers are greenish to creamy white, 4 cm long, and strongly scented; they are produced on a large inflorescence up to 7.5 m tall. Cultivation The plant is cultivated in subtropical and tropical regions for products and as an ornamental plant for gardens. Its leaves are used to produce a natural fiber similar to sisal.

Alien Invasive plants in Murdoch Valley


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Foutain Grass IAP

Fountain Grass – Pennisetum setaceum Category 1b invasive plant. It must be controlled and wherever possible removed and destroyed. Seeds (i.e flower heads) should be burnt

Agave on the Main Road

Furcraea foetida Mauritian Hemp Category 1a Invasive Alien plant. – must be combated and eradicated .

Hakea above the rocks Fisherman's Beach

Willow leaf Hakea (Hakea salicifolia) Invasive plant category 1b. It must be controlled where possible removed and destroyed

Morning Glory on sea side

Morning Glory (Ipomoea indica) Invasive Category 1b Invasive Alien plant. Must be controlled and where possible removed and destroyed.


Drooping Prickly Pear (Opuntia monocantha) Alien invasive plant category 1b. Must be controlled and wherever possible removed and destroyed.