Wednesday, June 09, 2010

First Cherry



I kind of have a thing about fruit.

Not eating it, but I certainly like that too. Very much, in fact.

Growing it.

Growing it myself, to be precise.

Why? I have no idea. When I was six I used to salivate over a neighbor's gorgeous apple trees. When I was eight, my father taught me the wonders of wild, sour apples (and salt). When I was thirteen and living in a different state, my friend and I used to "borrow" plums from yet another neighbor. With permission. (I think.)

Something about having fruit trees feels primal to me. And self-sufficient. Cyclical. Earthy. I wanted/want fruit trees. Simple as that. But as you may have heard, trees don't exactly grow, um, fast.

So, I started with a plum tree about 13 years ago, and that failed. Weird diseases. No plums. A bit of a problem, no?

A side foray into blueberry bushes was successful, but not beefy enough. My next project was a cherry tree. But once again, pests were a problem, as well as a few mishaps (like driving over the young tree with my truck. Um, whoops.) Years passed. The tree grew. Cherries would form, then wither and fall off. Sad. Next year would be my year, I would tell myself.

In the meantime, we bought our mountain land, and I started an orchard up there. Things were going well...until the bear. Then, the mice chewed the bark in winter and killed some more. I started a new orchard next to our cabin armed with some lessons learned. Check back with me in five years to see if I have success there.

So back to the cherry tree. Finally. FINALLY, this year a smattering of cherries stayed on and grew. It had been so many years (8 or 9), that I didn't even remember that they were yellow with a blush of red, rather than fully red. When one of them split, and I tasted it, I realized that lo and behold, they had ripened!!

So, I give you our first cherry in all its yumminess. At last, I managed to raise a fruit tree to bearing age before I die. I was beginning to wonder....

And yeah, I know you're thinking about cherry jokes. It's okay.

Munch away.

14 comments:

Oddyoddyo13 said...

Talk about a goal being hard to reach! Glad you finally pulled through-happy eating!

SzélsőFa said...

congratulations!
it's not that easy to grow plants, especially trees.
perhaps it's the soil, the precipitaion, or any other microclimatic factor - and the tree just doesn't feel right and refuses to grow or produce.
for example we just can not grow spring onions in our vegetable garden. onions are considered one of the easiest plants to grow - yet we manage not to succeed.
:)

Angie Ledbetter said...

Cool that your cherry dreams have finally come to fruition.

Chatterbox said...

Congratulations Jason :)
Time to reap the fruits of your labor :D

Karen said...

We have fairly good luck with growing things, but for some reason, my husband decided to prune one of the apple trees. He went, um, a little saw happy. The tree looks like a Dr. Seuss tree now, and I daresay it will never bear another apple!

I'd love to have a cherry tree. They're beautiful in every season.

....Petty Witter said...

Cherry joke? What cherry joke? she asks laughing.

Not a good climate for growing most types of fruit here in the north east of England. Rhubarb and gooseberries are our two success stories.

Laurel said...

You practically invited us to think of cherry jokes. The damn title is First Cherry, for heaven's sake.

Congratulations on fruition! (Get it?) Here in good ole Georgia you can't spit without hitting a plum tree. Green plums with salt are my childhood memory. For some reason they taste much better when you poach them from a neighbor.

My all time favorite is blackberry, though. And the wild ones are the absolute best. You just don't have the satisfaction of growing them yourself. You have to live with the knowledge that the blackberry thicket you're enjoying most likely had an inelegant beginning involving the digestive tract of a bird.

Bernita said...

I grew up in a house above an old apple orchard. Enough said, I think.
It is a need.

Anonymous said...

Now I want to plant a cherry tree.

anne

jason evans said...

Oddyoddyo13, tell me about it! Trees are not instant gratification.

Szelsofa, we have a vegetable garden too, which I really should spend more time on. This spring, we've had a good crop of strawberries. Hopefully, it will be a good corn year.

Angie, cherry dreams...I like that. :)

Chatterbox, ooo, I like all the puns! Awesome!!

Karen, oh, I feel your pain. (And the apple tree's!) I hope it manages to recover. Scary how much you can set a tree back by blowing a pruning job.

Petty Witter, gooseberries work! I once knew a field that was loaded with them. Young trees are there now, and the gooseberries are gone.

Laurel, me? Invite cherry jokes?? :P Oh yes, those plums sound perfect! I always picked them with a dose of green still on the skin. Tart and firm. Really lucious! (Wait, am I getting myself in trouble again?)

Bernita, an old apple orchard is the pinnacle. They were always there. Secret stashes of fruit.

Anne, you can do it! Just get that dang thing in shape faster than I did. :)

Mona said...

wow! I would like to grow a tree & would like to see it come to fruition!

Terri said...

Congratulations on your cherries!
My husband has the same tendencies as you do. Now that we are where we plan to stay he is in full swing, getting stuff to grow. We have granadilla (passion-fruit) vines, mint, tiny paw-paw trees and at long last, an avocado pip that has sprouted a stem and leaves. Although I'm sure we'll be long dead by the time that bears fruit, LOL!

bluesugarpoet said...

Reminds me of my house in Oregon. We had two cherry trees in our back yard. Well, actually, the neighbors had two cherry trees in *their* back yard that grew half into our back yard. They let us pick the fruits on our half. One of them was a Rainier Cherry tree (bears fruit like the one in your picture). I have great memories of climbing to the tippy top of that tree in an effort to pick every last fruit - 20+ feet high. Fyi, yellow jackets love to eat cherries, so don't let the fruit that drops stay on the ground. And skunks love to eat yellow jackets, so you might find that you attract some of both of these critters. :)

jason evans said...

Mona, get the shovel out!

Terri, ooo, I'm there. You've got LOTS of stuff growing!

Bluesugarpoet, great to see you again! That sounds like a great arrangement with your neighbor. As for the dropped cherries, I'm looking forward to that problem at this point! But I hear you....