Friday, May 27, 2011

First Spring Harvest

Last week we traveled to the other side of the county for T.C.‘s graduation from NYU. (We’re very proud that she graduated with honors) When we returned, the late spring rains and longer days brought the first harvest.  Raspberries, blueberries and strawberries!  To be honest, the first berries of the season are never the sweetest but we don’t care because we haven’t had fresh vine ripened fruit since last season.  It’s so wonderful to finally have berries for our oats in the morning.

The raspberries and blueberries are ripening very quickly now that it’s warmer and the days are longer.

Fruit isn’t the only thing were eating from the garden.  The spinach and chard that I planted last year is going to seed, so we picked it all the old plants to make room for the new ones we planted this spiring.  We’ve been eating lots of greens this week.  Lots of braised chard and spinach salads.

We did a garden check of all the fruit trees and everything is doing well, except for the apricot tree.  It rained so much during the bloom that we only had a few apricots that actually made it past the bloom stage but even those have dropped so it looks like it will be an apricot free year.  We’re so disappointed. Last years apricots were amazing, the biggest sweetest apricots I’ve ever had and I’ve been thinking about all of the ways I was going to eat them this spring.
However, we do have lots of apples this year. Last season we had only 5.

And this is the first year that we’ve had pears.  We planted a grafted tree that we bought at a nursery sale last summer.  It has three varieties, perhaps four, one of the branches was damaged and I’m not sure if it’s still viable.  This is a picture of a baby Comice pear, but we also have Bartlett and Red Bartlett.

The peach tree did very well, so well in fact we’ve had to do a lot of thinning.  The tree is not big enough to support all of the peaches it produced so we pick off the smaller or bug damaged ones.  This branch is going to need more won’t be able to support all those peaches when they get bigger.

We’ll have a small crop of almonds, also due to a very rainy and windy spring.

 But, there are lots of these tiny grape clusters. We’ll have plenty of grapes this year!

I was very happy to discover the first tomato!  Last year was a poor year for tomatoes for everyone, everywhere, but it looks like this year will be much better. (I grow my tomato plants up on a wire trellis.)

Lastly, we have a pomegranate bush.  It’s filled with amazing flowers.  I’ve yet to see it set any fruit, last year all of the flowers fell off.  We’re keeping our fingers crossed.

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