I met such an interesting, knowledgeable gentleman last Friday, his name is John and he runs the Grafton Tree Farm. He has an amazing array of local natives and he is so helpful too. I have to confess, there were quite a few trees I had never heard of or, that I’ve seen before. One such tree is the Cheese Tree, the Glochidion Firdinandi. I had to ask, why on earth is it called a Cheese Tree? He pointed upward, and I looked blankly and he grabbed an old gnarly stick and pointed to this tiny fruit sitting not 1 metre or so above me. This little rounded fruit is shaped like cheese. Personally, I think it’s a very midget pumpkin!!
Apparently, it flowers throughout the year, when the fruits ripen they have showy bright red seeds. It has male and female flowers too. Its fast growing, a medium sized tree and virtually maintenance free. What more could you ask from it? Well, the birds and insects love it too…. And the best part for where I live, is it survives floods!! I’ve got three now.
On another note, this is the wonderful aspect of being an artist and delving deep into a project; researching and learning as you draw and make new work in whatever media. When there is a heartfelt theme and a practical project outcome such as riverbank restoration, it becomes an integrated wholistic approach to life and work.