Wednesday, June 09, 2010
I kind of have a thing about fruit.
Not eating it, but I certainly like that too. Very much, in fact.
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.