Despite the fact that I had no time, or desire, to garden much this year, our family was still able to reap some sweet homegrown harvest this summer. No credit here is given to my manual labor though – it just grew on its own!
There is a tree growing on the side of our house, beautifully shading one of the living room windows. It was there when we moved into our beloved nest. And since our house is only three years young, my guess is the landscaping company that planted all the bushes around our building planted the tree as well. We moved in exactly three year ago, in the middle of the summer, therefore did not see this tree bloom that year. But the following spring it was all covered in white blossom. I do not remember if we saw any fruit that year, but it must have been the case, as I remember knowing back then that it was a plum tree.
Then Irene came. Hurricane Irene that it. Even though Boston only got a glimpse of her already weakening performance, the winds were strong enough to do some damage. We found our tree chilling on its side with its root up above the ground after Irene was gone. Since it was easier trying to save the tree rather than getting rid of it, we preformed some CPR, cleaned its wounds, and put it back in vertical position. To make magic happen, as the last step, we performed a tribal dance stomping our feet around root area. Apparently that was not enough. The tree kept falling on its side, as the root was too heavy. I did not have much hope for it at that point, but we still decided to try defeating the gravity by tying the tree up to the fence with a large rope. And guess what? It worked! The tree still looks a bit crooked, but, I swear, it works like new!
Remember all those posts with me whining about winter never ending and spring being awfully cold? So, yeah. When the tree blossomed this past spring, I remember thinking to myself that there is definitely going to be NO fruit this summer, as the frost will destroy all the blossom. Besides, I could swear I haven’t seen one single bee around this tree. So I though no pollination was happening either. That’s how cold of the spring it was. Imagine my shock when I started noticing the branches on this tree getting lower and lower from the weight of so many ripening plums!
I think the amount of fruit we got from this tree allows me to use all sorts of colorful epithets, such as bountiful harvest. I mean, our whole family ate plums everyday for a few weeks. I cooked braised pork in plums. Our UPS delivery guy asked me if he could raid our tree. I offered quite a few of our neighbors to help themselves to some plum and some other people form the neighborhood weren’t too shy to help themselves either. Birds fed on plums. Bunch of plums just fell crushing on the ground. And, after all of the above listed, I made two batches of plum preserve – one batch with honey, another with sugar – and got over TWENTY jars of it for winter. Ah, so proud of myself!
This whole fruits-picking-eating-cooking-canning process got me so excited that now I have an urge to grow stuff! We shall see if this “harvest high” lasts until next spring… when the actual work will have to be done and the actual hand will have to get dirty. Until then… we will be enjoying our plum harvest in the form of delicious sweet ‘n sour plum preserve with some hot tea during long and cold winter nights.