Childhood dreams of my own fruit trees + Honeybees overwintering happily at the farm + Twenty years since the orchard was planted = Fruit Glut Insanity
This is one more instance in which I get to see the wisdom of the phrase, “Be careful what you ask for.” All those years ago when I planted three peach trees, two sour cherry trees, four pear trees, eight apple trees, twenty five blueberry bushes, five plum trees and big patch of raspberries, elderberries, gooseberries, red currants and black currants I had no idea the volumes of fruit in store for us. Especially this year. This magic fruit year.
Because this year it appears that every last Flower on all these bushes and trees was pollinated and then there was nary a wind, frost, or bug to interfere with all this magnificent setting fruit.
First came the sour cherry season. There were so many cherries that I gave one whole tree to the birds and only picked from the other tree. Each day after work I would climb a ladder and pick until supper then at night I would pit cherries for a couple hours and defrost something from the freezer to make room for the day’s haul.
Then came the blueberries. Twenty five bushes of blueberries is a lot of blueberries. The family and staff like blueberries better than sour cherries so I got a bit more help with the picking but still……for weeks we picked until we were literally blue, and it still didn’t look like we had even been in the patch.
After a month, we still have more to pick. This week when someone brought home a bag of store bought sweet cherries, I went a little bit nuts. “I DON”T CARE IF YOU ARE TIRED OF BLUEBERRIES!” I screeched. “NO RANDOM FRUIT PURCHASES!”
Then the peaches and pears were ready. That is pretty much the last time I posted here because 24/7 I am managing fruit.
At least these two fruits can be canned so I don’t have to expect the family to toss back a ham in order to make room for my pear and peach products in the freezer. Instead I am canning until the wee hours each night. With seventy five pints under my belt, you would never know I had peeled a single fruit
Every single bowl I own is overflowing with ripe pears or peaches. Underneath the kitchen table I have filled all my weeding bins with ripening pears and still there is an overflow….. It is in the living room packed in sleds. This fruit glut management plan is working alright except that Reina keeps selecting herself a piece of fruit then eating a mouthful or two and leaving it on the rug to go back for more.
This weekend, more pints of canned pears are in my future. When I get so I can’t look another sliced pear in the face, I plan to switch to pear butter. I plan to can until Hurricane Irene knocks out the power or until every last canning jar in my grasp is full of fruit. ( Sadly, my sister in law gave me about five thousand pint jars so this could take awhile.)
And next week? I was horrified to see Emily’s Facebook post of a photo of ripening plums. I hadn’t allowed myself to glance over to that part of the orchard and therefore had not begun to fixate on the plum season. I was strictly focused on finishing off the pears before the apples begin.
Now I have to slip in a five tree plum season before an eight apple tree season.
If I could go back in time, what would I say to thirty year old Molly as she planted the first fruit trees here? If you ask me in the morning when I am feeling rested from Fruit Glut late nights, I would say “Get ready darling, your orchard dreams are going to be everything you imagined and more.”
If you caught me at midnight, the message I’d send back might be, “That’s enough already. STOP PLANTING RIGHT NOW!”