Tis rare indeed that the peach tree, pictured in full bloom here has born fruit. In fact the last time we took fruit from this tree was at least 5 years ago. True the tree has had many adventures in that time. One massive adventure was during the winter of two years past when we had an early heavy snow that split an enormous chunk off the tree. My husband managed to bolt the limb back onto the tree and after some judicious trimming it regained a semblance of symmetry.
This property was previously owned by an elderly Italian woman that apparently loved to garden. We’ve inherited not only plums but black currants, filberts, and an old heirloom red raspberry that I’ve been propagating over the years to name but a few. The first year we were here, were thrilled to have not one, but two Santa Rosa plums with a heavy fruit set. My daughter was only about 4 at the time, yet she still remembers laying down sheets and giving the tree a shake. The plums that rained down were dark purple with the sweetest flesh and precisely the correct amount of tart skin to put a bit of pucker in them. The Santa Rosa’s were the perfect size for a four year old mouth and many were eaten by her…a fair number were shared out with friends and a few were put by in a canning bath with some maple syrup. Sadly these two trees succumbed to fire blight and the remaining plum tree above now stands alone.
To say it is a meager set would be an understatement. There are maybe a dozen small fruits on the tree. However, it always feels like a gift when ripe juicy fruit is 15 steps from the back door, and as organic as it gets! No USDA (un sure–don’t ask ) organic here.
It’s not all bounty and victory on the homestead. Some crops are duds…collards that got eaten this year and we haven’t replanted yet. Selected squash that seem to be a beacon to the squash beetles. Beans plants that are rebounding after a rabbit helped herself to the largess…and these few plums. To only share the good parts of the homestead is, I think, unfair. There will be problems. There will be crop failures. There will be bugs. There will be small victories. Yet, if one thing is a bust often times another crop is a boon. So it goes in life and we never find ourselves without gratitude for the gifts of the Mother. These few plums will be eaten with great focus. The taste savored, the experience etched into the body with each tiny bite.