Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Fruits of Our Labor

Last year, was The Year Without Fruit. Untimely frosts and drought kept tree fruits, with the exception of apples, from setting.

This year we have fruit in abundance. Pears, peaches, and apples are hanging low on loaded trees. Cherries, plumcots, and apricots are already ripe and being harvested. I've spent part of every day since last Sunday processing beautiful apricots from two full trees. Jam is cooking on the stove as I type this. I've dried apricots and cherries for baking during the Fall and Winter. Yesterday, I picked a soft totally ripe purple plumcot and bit into it -- simply wonderful! You just can't buy them like that in the grocery store. Even grape vines I thought were long dead have come to life and are actually bearing grapes. Yippee.

The red and black raspberries are almost finished, but the blackberries have already begun to ripen and I'll be picking them soon.

Asparagus continue to produce, surprisingly. I've picked buckets of pole beans, kale, chard, and cucumbers. Summer squashes are producing, but sadly it looks like the winter squashes are going to be hit by borers. Oh well, I have freezers full of pureed squash from last year. I may try replanting in an effort to outwit the insects.

Nature seems to work that way. One year on, the next off. I try to preserve as much of the year's bounty as possible in order to have a variety on hand.

This morning, I drove through an area to check on blackberries and found twin fawns in the patch. I don't remember seeing twins in the past. It must be a good year for deer reproduction, as well.

A mystery animal has killed a good number of ducks by attacking their night shelter and dragging them out, one by one. My husband kept repairing the structure each time it was torn apart, hardware cloth ripped off, the tin roof bent back... Now, the two remaining ducks are staying on the pond at night. Because the access was narrow in each case and the predator was obviously dexterous and strong, I've been wondering if we have a troupe of baboons in the vicinity. Evidently, a delicious box of quackers is too tasty to be left alone by this bunch.

3 comments: said...

still having duck problems? Terrible. Too bad you don't have a video security cam out there to catch him/her/them in the act...

My squash are not looking so terrific either. I thought we might ought to think about replanting as well. Nasty borers.

CountryDew said...

It sounds like you have a fox!

Jeanne said...

You're an inspiration to us here in Prince Edward County at Seven Oaks Farm! We put in tiny apricot trees this year - just twigs really - and they are about a foot tall. I'm dreaming of the day when I can write what you wrote!

Fox in your duck pen? Or a bear? We are having some scary moments with a large black bear...