I want to start this post by saying It’s that time of year again, but I realize I say that a lot. This is how I demarcate the year…The greens of Spring…Seedlings Sprouting…Wildflower Moon…Dandelion blessings…Wisteria explosion…and on into Summer and Fall. Homebrew weather. Heirloom Tomato celebrations. Pumpkin moonshine creations. Golden Ginko Biloba. Winter arrives and it is The Time of Water, Rock and Lichen and hibernation snoozes along until the corner is turned and Japanese Plums yell “Surprise!” with their pink blooms.
Still, it is. It is that time. One of many, framed in parentheses, a bubble in the stream.
Stonefruit everywhere is growing heavy on the branches and will soon be dropping to sticky mush under your feet. I say it every year, and it bears repeating. There is SO much free fruit to be had on the city streets. I am still bewildered why folks don’t camp out underneath the trees like they do for a sale at Best Buy, to be first in line for the harvest. Thank goodness they don’t I suppose, because it means more for me. If you want to find out where the trees are in your area, Neighborhood Fruit is here to help you. If you have an urban orchard and would like to share the bounty, City Fruit is worth a visit. The Free Farm Stand will also take donations from your sidewalk or back yard trees.
We have been eyeing the tree next door, which is having an enthusiastic year. Typically the fruit is at peak around Summer Solstice, but it’s important to check for ripeness every so often, just in case. Yesterday morning seemed the perfect time.
A birdie with a yellow bill, Hopped upon my windowsill, Cocked his shining eye and said, “Ain’t you shamed, you sleepy head?”
Fern was easily roused, Jeff less so, but we still managed to stumble out of the house quite early for Operation Plum Picking.
This picture makes my heart stand still. She gets me up in the morning by alternating from “I give you a biiiigggg hug” to pint sized efforts at tractor pulling my groggy form out of bed. Last night as she was going to sleep, I was showing her how to count to five on her fingers. One finger at a time, she chanted, “One, Two, Three, Four, One, Two, Three, Four…Five…Four Five Six…Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten!”. The day before she could only count to three. We watched the Wizard of Oz on Monday, and she has spent the week running around the house cackling “I’ll get you my pretty” and pretending to disappear into a thick cloud of sulfur. I look at her and all her previous selves flash in front of my eyes, her infancy in time lapse. What remains the same is the surprise and delight. I couldn’t have guessed her existence, but now that she is here, her mystery makes perfect sense. This is my daughter.
We stopped by the garden to get the fruit picker. We like any excuse to accept the continuous whispered invitation.
We did a plumpness check.
And a butt check.
Dang. Not quite ripe yet.
Our matching strawberries were deserving of documentation.
In past years I have made a lot of plum butter, which I may do again this year. But I’m also curious to try a plum wine (Hey Mama Jax, wanna make a date?). Do y’all have any suggestions?
As well, I want to remind you…I will be virtually hosting The Bioregional Swap again this year. (Last year was so much fun! Click on each word in that last sentence for examples of just how much.). As we head into high summer and harvest, I invite you to plan ahead and start putting aside treasures and jars of homemade goodness to send off to your partner. Everyone is invited, and the formal sign-up will happen around the beginning of August.
Have a great weekend!