In the mayhem and distraction surrounding the house remodel, we’ve been lax on some of our farming endeavors. Our blueberries and strawberries, for example, have only received the most superficial care- a few weedings and that’s about it. Despite that, they have still yielded some tasty snacks for us, as you can see in this picture. In this case, the timing was perfect: an evening where we were gardening late, forgot to bring food, and were really needing a snack.
The orchard, however, is in a truly sad state. It hasn’t been mowed or tended AT ALL this year, and looks completely derelict. It’s shameful. Earlier this week, Farmer Ned was over by our fields hauling firewood, and he stopped by to have a chat.
“Got any apples on yer trees?” he asked.
This made me feel quite silly, as I really had no idea. I’ve been so busy I haven’t even checked. To avoid looking like the worst farmer in the world, I said something weasly like “They’re not doing much this year” then started talking about Ryan’s apples up the road, which are doing quite well.
A few days later, though, Emily and I were fiddling with the irrigation system and had a few quiet twilight minutes to enjoy a little break, so we toured the orchard. What a surprise! The Spitzenburg apples were loaded on the tree, and there were some Gravensteins as well. Further investigation found a mountain of crabapples on the Whitney (it did that last year too).
But then Emily cried with glee at seeing a pair of pears! What fun. They look so happy on the tree. I took one to try, and it was well shy of ripe. I kindof suspected that would happen, but I couldn’t help myself.
The best news of all, though, was on the way out when I noticed there are plums on one of the Green Gage trees. I have only recently learned to appreciate plums, probably because grocery store plums are not too inspiring. A very fresh plum, however, is an incomparable treat. I gently squeezed a few of the plums, and they were pretty hard, but I found one that was soft so I picked it and we tried it. WOW! THAT WAS AMAZING AND I MUST HAVE MORE! We will be planting a few dozen of these trees at Gravel Creek, for sure. In addition to growing well and looking great, these trees make a delicious treat indeed.