Friday, November 1, 2013

Preserve the harvest

I'm not very adventurous when it comes to jams and jellies. One type of fruit, some sugar and Pomona Pectin is simple and delicious, letting the fruit flavor shine through. Pomona Pectin allows for low sugar recipes as well as tweaking of the strict recipes found in other one-box-per-batch pectins. I'm a fan. This year our plum trees had a small yield, but this was only their second year of bearing fruit, so next year I have high hopes. Plum trees do very well in our neighborhood as evidenced by the littered lawns and spattered sidewalks of several front yards I pass on my walks. This year I worked up the nerve to knock on a few stranger's doors and ask them if they'd like some help in picking their fruit. I hate to see fruit going to waste. For one reason, good fruit is expensive! Call it local and organic and you would have to spend big bucks to buy fruit like that. Tree ripened fruit, especially the stone fruits like plums and peaches, have that juicy sweet summer flavor that you can never, ever find in a grocery store fruit. Then there is the problem of overripe, rotting fruit. It attracts undesirable critters like raccoons, possums, skunks, and flies that I want to keep far away from my yard and garden. So when I see a tree heavily laden, I offer to help. Not just out of the goodness of my heart, but for selfish reasons too. The owner of the plum tree explained to me that he was disabled and was having a hard time keeping up with the plums as they fell to the ground. My husband and I picked as many plums as we could carry, probably 20 lbs., and we barely made a dent in the tree. We enjoyed several plum desserts and made several batches of plum jam, delivering two half-pint jars to the plum tree owner. Diverging from my usual single fruit jam mode, I discoverd my all time favorite jam flavor ever; blueberry plum. I won't be passing any of that out at Christmas time. I look forward to the day when my trees produce more fruit than I can possibly use. If you see a tree in this situation, consider contacting an organization like SoCal Harvest or other organizations that pick fruit from the trees of homeowners for them then donate the fruit to local food banks.
October harvest tally:
35 lbs. of fresh fruits and veggies
71 eggs

2013 total:
484 lbs. of fresh fruits and veggies
208 eggs

We live on a 1/10th acre lot and rent a 20x20 foot community garden plot.

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