Sunday, September 22, 2013

Early fruits come in

Asian pears and apples

When I checked the orchard last evening, there was a big Shinseiki asian pear on the ground. It had a big rotten area on one side, but the other side looked really good. I wanted to taste it and see how close it was to ripe, so I took it up to the house to cut out the bad part. When I cut into it, the flesh was so crisp it crunched as I cut, and juice dripped from it. Of course I ate it! It hadn't developed much flavor yet--it needs another month--but it was mildly sweet and the texture was terrific. So I decided to go around and shake all the trees. Seven pears and five apples!

The dark red apple on the lower right is the only gala--it really didn't want to come off but it's so blemished I doubt there'll be much to eat on it. Its footie got peeled back early on by a critter and it's been scarred since it was half this size. The two on the top are Honeycrisp and the two smaller ones on the bottom are liberties. The two darker pears are Chojuros, and the light yellow ones are Shinseikis.

Several of these fruits have wounds where squirrels tried to chew through the footies, but I can cut around those. I weighed the bagful and it was six pounds! I put the apples in the fridge (I still need to check and see if the Honeycrisp need cold storage) and the pears out on the counter to ripen a bit more.

The squirrel repellers I put up two weeks ago still seem to be keeping the squirrels away. The liberty and the pears still have another month or so till full ripening, but I'll keep watching them and checking. I'm glad I'm getting some of my harvest!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A surprise harvest day

I finished my painting session today just after noon, and was walking around looking at what I need to do in the garden, and spotted one of the grape clusters on my Himrod vine. Half of the grapes in it were half an inch across so I thought I'd taste one and see how close it was to ripe. It was sweet and delicious! So I ate more, and as I did, I spotted the other clusters. I went up to the house and brought down my pruners and cut all half-dozen of the clusters. I ate as many as I wanted and took the rest up to the house and put them in the fridge. I was surprised that most of the tiny grapes were as sweet as the larger ones—not all of them, though. None of my other three vines had fruit this year, but I'm still quite happy to have what I got.

I also decided it was time to pick both my Bartletts, and they must have agreed because they came off the tree quite readily. It's such a small tree, and had to struggle so much its first two years in the ground, I was skeptical that both these pears would make it to maturity, but they did! They're full-size, nice, green-golden pears, and I'm hoping they're going to taste as good as they look. I should know in about a week.

I marked my calendar so I'll know next year when to expect harvest!