Top 5 – Fruit and Veg in season in Melbourne in March

The Australian government released its new dietary guidelines this week, a document I was mildly interested in due to occasional paranoia about my health (this paranoia commenced the moment I become a parent and applies to things other than health – large trees, some types of dog, all forms of motorised transport etc etc).  Somewhat surprisingly the first point in the guidelines was about exercise and the need to spend about 45-60 minutes doing something sweaty.   Whilst I was relatively comfortable with my activity levels, maybe I need to do more.   I am an active user of the local Leisure centre, although 1hr of swimming on one day, 1 hr of pilates on another and 1 hr of Body Combat on another isn’t really every day is it?  (For the uninitiated Body Combat is an exercise class which combines martial arts with a ‘pumping soundtrack’ and a lot of jumping around.  It serves as a constant reminder that I have no co-ordination whatsoever but I live under the vain hope that one day I will be able to punch and move forward simultaneously).  Anyway the exercise requirements in the guidelines aside I was pretty comfortable with the government’s eating message (Note: I studiously ignore all references to alcohol consumption in such documents…).   The guideline to eat lots of fruit and vegetables was particularly enjoyable reading.   That I can do happily, and these are the fruit and veg I will enjoy in March.


Chillies – I always find that it is in March when the chillies reach glut proportions – not so much that I have too many to deal with, but it can get a little overwhelming.  Whilst a few cayenne chillies ripened in February I am looking forward to the bulk of my chilli crop being ready in March.  The Scotch Bonnets (known elsewhere as Bishops Cap) are dripping with green chillies, and the cayenne has quite a few developing,  as has the birdseye.

Bohemian Pumpkins

Pumpkins – March to me is all about the pumpkin.  The main crops tend to be towards the end of the month but they are worth the wait.  Pumpkin soup, spicy pumpkin curries and pumpkin thrown into the roast dish are all worth being patient for.  The rats may have got my pumpkins but they didn’t get mum and dad’s and they have some beautiful looking ones this season.


Parsley – Now I know that parsley grows here all year round, but it is in March when the Spring planted seedlings are big enough for good levels (and by that I mean tabouli levels) of harvesting.  My parsley invariably goes to seed in Spring and I have a couple of months during which I have to use it fairly sparingly, whilst the new plants establish themselves, but by March the plants are big enough to tolerate a decent haircut.  My mint is looking good, so hopefully I’ll still be getting some tomatoes and I’ll be very happy indeed.


Figs – The most popular fruit tree in Melbourne’s northern suburbs is clearly the lemon but I think the fig is probably the second.  Next door has one, as has the house directly behind.  There’s a huge one down the road, two on the adjoining street and so on.   March is when many of them ripen.  Sadly next doors (which underhangs my garden – it has grown under the fence) has no fruit on it this year, but I’m hopeful I will still get some figs to feast on from somewhere.


Passionfruit – I went back through last years harvest photos from March and in each week I found at least one of a passionfruit.  Those photos were of the last fruit my old vine bore before we ripped it out over winter.  I have a new vine but whilst it has flowered a lot it has yet to set any fruit (I’m hoping this is just due to youth) so I wont be enjoying many passionfruit this year.  But others will, hopefully many of you Melbournites with trees will be eating some this month.

And that is my Top 5 for Melbourne in March.  What will you be feasting on next month?

This entry was posted in Top 5. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Top 5 – Fruit and Veg in season in Melbourne in March

  1. I’m desperately trying to find a local fig tree, but nothing. Sadly we won’t be feasting too much on our own produce, as our garden is yet to develop into sustainable proportions, but ill be planing plenty.

  2. Bek says:

    A great top 5! For me I’d be saying eggplant, tomatoes, melons, melons and melons! My fig tree is doing quite well and you’re more than welcome to some. I’m not really a fig fan and my place had three big trees which I have culled back to one. Its more than I can handle and I give most of them away to people who appreciate them. My passionfruit has just fruited for the first time (I believe I squealed with delight when I saw the first flower) so I am also hoping it sets some fruit!

    • Liz says:

      I was going to include melons but never having successfully grown one I thought it might be a little wrong somehow… I’d love some figs if you have any spare. Have you tried making fig jam?

  3. Bek says:

    Oh, and good to see someone other than my dietitian colleagues actually read the newly released dietary guidelines. I’m impressed!

  4. I wish I had tried to grow pumpkins this year. What a pity about your rats. I failed the last couple of times so gave up. But I think I will try again next year. I have had success with a couple of spaghetti squash and am looking forward to trying them out.

  5. Oh dear I must be more active in winter! I find it interesting that different countries recommend differing amounts of fruit and vegetables in dietary guidelines

    • Liz says:

      When I left the UK the advice was 5 fruit or veg a day but not including potatoes, when I arrived in OZ the advice here was 5 veg plus 2 fruit but you could include potatoes. I heard on the radio the other day the medical evidence suggests we should eat 10 but they don’t want to specify that in the guidelines because it is too far above what people actually do and might prove a disincentive.

  6. Mark Willis says:

    I also have no difficulty with eating lots of healthy fruit and veg, but with advancing years the exercise regime becomes more of a penance! Your March is our September, so if we take that into account we are harvesting the same sorts of things – most of our fruit matures in late Summer and early Autumn, which is the time when pumpkins and squashes are most abundant – as indeed are chillies. Do you celebrate Harvest Festival there in Oz?

    • Liz says:

      No we don’t really have a harvest festival per se – I think because we can harvest throughout the year it isn’t quite as meaningful compared with places where your food stores (and survival through winter) depended on the end of summer harvest.

  7. Sarah says:

    I like guidelines that advise you to eat lots of fruit and veg! And don’t forget that gardening is a good form of exercise too…

  8. Norma Chang says:

    Those chilies are so pretty. I hope my container fig does well for me this year. Meant to repot last fall but never got around to doing so. Is that the color of your mature pumpkins or will they turn orange?

  9. love those sombrero chillies, so plentiful too. We’ve got oodles of beans, zuchinnis and tomatoes and few super luscious nectarines saved from the birds – I’m even eating the ones with bites in them. We have quite a few pumpkins but our dog has decided they make good sport and is playing with them. I’d be feeling pretty proud if I was exercising as much as you, just walking and gardening here.

  10. Barbara Good says:

    I came home the other night to a nice big pile of figs on my door step from my neighbours, what a lovely surprise. I turned them into fig and orange jam which is my absolute favourite, so I’ll have to pop over and leave them a jar on their door step.

  11. So many gorgeous things featured in this post! A number of them we don’t have the climate or temperament to grow, making it extra special to be able to enjoy yours at least virtually!

    • Liz says:

      Its interesting – passionfruit in particular are so suited to our climate that they are grown really widely and as a result are really popular here but virtually unknown (or not nearly as widely available) in other countries. It’s interesting how a whole nation will take to a fruit and make it their own despite it being native to somewhere on the other side of the world (the Irish and potatoes, Italians and tomatoes etc etc comes to mind as well).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *