Once again, today’s blog is the result of my daily Writing Practice topic from last week…Write about picking fruit.
As a child, my parents were the original organic gardeners before anyone even uttered the word organic anything. They were also pretty serious recyclers as well.
My father faithfully read all the gardening articles in Prevention Magazine, planted by the ‘signs’ after consulting the most current Farmer’s Almanac, used gray water (we didn’t even know the term then) from the kitchen and bathroom to irrigate the garden, amended the soil with ashes from the fireplace and what we cleaned out of the barn, and NEVER used anything other than
7-Dust for killing bugs on any plant.
We always had a huge vegetable garden and the only fruit planted was tomatoes — there was a great debate back then regarding the genus of said plant. Scientifically I know it is a fruit, but in my heart and mind, it is and will always be a vegetable!
There were a couple of peach trees that came with the property and two gigantic fig trees that my father did plant from a cutting someone gave him. The fig trees still stand having grown taller than the house, unfortunately the peach trees were drought victims years ago.
There was a lane that joined our street to the one just to the north. That is where the wild plums grew. They were something my Mother called ‘hog plums’. I don’t care what they were named, the pulp and juice made the most delicious jam and jelly I have every eaten. Sadly, someone from the city who had no clue what they were doing “cleaned” the lane one summer and dozed all of these wonderful wild plum trees. Needless to say, my Mother was livid and let the powers that be know all about it.
We picked our meager fruit offerings as they ripened. Preserved, jammed, jellied and froze as their character allowed. But…the real fruit picking happened South of town in the numerous orchards owned by a distant cousin. I don’t know the number of peach varieties he grew, it was his livelihood, but I do know each ripened at a different time of the summer so, peach picking began in early Summer and lasted long into Fall with the late peaches. Some were ‘cling’ and a real bitch to get off the pit. Others were ‘free-stone’ and a dream to prepare. Regardless of the pit type, they were all scrumdelicious ( yep a made up word my family still uses).
I spent many mornings just after the dawn cracked when the air was cool with morning dew still clinging to trees and fruit picking baskets of peaches with my Mom. The next few days were then spent peeling, slicing, pickling, boiling, juicing, jamming, jellying (is that a word) and just eating these luscious golden treasures. My favorite, as was my Mom’s, fresh peach halves with cottage cheese. My mouth still waters. But, wait, warm peach cobbler with ice cream or fresh cream, peach ice cream, fresh peach pie, fried peach pies … I could go on and on, but I am making myself hungry and not a peach in sight — not even those little snack cups.
Here are three different poems* about peaches and plums that I had written prior to this blog post. Enjoy!
Peach picking time ~ summer hot and sweet ~ juices flowing down my arm
Misty mornings ~ humidity hanging low ~ bees leading us ~ to the sweetest peaches
Wild plums in the lane ~ boiling down to ~ the sweetest jam.
Always, I wish you peace, joy and happiness, but most of all I wish you LOVE. Take time this Spring and Summer to pick fresh fruit and enjoy the sublime flavors, textures, and pure joy of something you pick just for you.
As Ever, Annie
All original micropoetry is copyright protected and the sole property of the blog owner.
First Posted 2/19/13