Edible garden: Kumquats

By Janice Marriott

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Grow some colourful snacks in your garden, says Janice Marriott.

Kumquats are a delicious treat to have on hand for any occasion. Photo / Thinkstock
Kumquats are a delicious treat to have on hand for any occasion. Photo / Thinkstock

A sister-in-law introduced me to delicious kumquats. They grow well in pots, and look good all year, with evergreen shiny leaves and polka dots of bright fruit that look like miniature oranges.

Because the whole plant seems to gleam, they are perfect decorative plants.

There are other miniature citrus with the same characteristics.

Like the kumquat, limequat, mandarinquat and orangequat can all cope with cold winters, like to be clipped into shape, and thrive in pots. Make them into standards, with a straight trunk and pom-pom top.

The colourful fruit stays on the trees for a long period of time. Place them each side of an entrance, or in the centre of the edible garden.

But best of all, you can eat these bite-sized fruit straight from the tree, skin and all, without peeling.

The sweet, edible skin also means you don't have to peel them when you make marmalade.

I think all edible gardens should have some vegetables or fruit that is perfect as a nibble-as-you-garden snack. Berries, including blueberry, strawberries and grapes are good for instant sustenance, and now I can add kumquats to the list. Available from garden centres or from Flying Dragon Nursery in Kerikeri.

- NZ Herald

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