The Valleys below the Langeberg Mountains in the Southern Cape are well-known fruit growing regions. There are citrus, stone fruit, lots of different vegetables – and also black berries from which delightful liqueurs are made.

Lovely Sharon Fruit

However, this is also Sharon Fruit country and the new season is now only two months away. The Sharon Fruit Facebook site goes into orbit every time the word ‘new season’ is mentioned. Believe me, those who have been converted to Sharon Fruit loves it.

It is a persimmon, but a very different persimmon. When you pick the fruit in the orchard and bite into it, it tastes terrible. That is why the growers and Sharon Fruit in South Africa have perfected the art of ripening the fruit. They pack it in carons and then place them in the ripening room for 24 hours. This triggers the ripening process and Walla! One bites into the most beautiful sweet fruit of which you can simply not get enough.

Big Pumpkins at Buffeljagsrivier

With the Sharon Fruit season in Sharon Fruit Valley now only two months away, Fredo found out that the locals are keeping themselves busy with all sorts of things. Big Pumpkin growing has become quite a past time in Swellendam and Buffeljagsrivier.

Believe it or not, one Buffeljagsrivier grower by the name of Willem has a pumpkin that already weighs some 500 kgs. The annual competition sponsored by a leading retailer is still some time away.

Good friend Hein Smal’s neighbour in Swellendam, Elan Fourie, is also an enthusiastic big pumpkin grower – and showed Hein some of her pumpkins growing in the backyard.

Elna’s big pumpkin

They say these pumpkins are grown from seed from the USA – so Trump is not only conducting trade wars which get people hot under the collar. He also presides over the exports of pumpkin seeds from which one can grow these monsters.

The big pumpkins apparently have a big daily diet of compost. They grow at a rate of 5 kg per day. In March 2017 the winning pumpkin weighed 556 kgs.

Fredo thinks that Willem’s pumpkin has a good chance of winning this year. However, you never know what sneaky recipes other growers will engage in to grow their pumpkins.

One good thing is that a lot of people will be able to eat from one of these big babies. Fredo hopes that the growers will share their pumpkins with the many people that hardly get a meal a day. Where are they going to get pots big enough to cook these guys. Perhaps the competion to grow the biggest pumpkin can be followed by a Big Pumpkin Potjie competion. We can then invite large numbers of people to come and taste.

Roll on Sharon Fruit season – all this pumpkin talk is getting the better of Fredo.