Wednesday, June 29, 2016

We are what we eat: fruity!

Morello cherries, 2014
Eating low carb as we do, not many sweet things go on our table.  We rarely buy or make treats.  Our main sweet is fruit, and what better way than to grow it myself?

Fruit Trees

My morello cherry tree is a sour cherry, but that doesn't stop us from eating them fresh, especially our six year old.  Yum!  We froze a gallon bag of them last year, off a tree that isn't even as tall as me. 

I have sweet variety of cherry called Kordia, just taller than me, but younger than the morello.  It gave its first harvest (five cherries) last year.  We expect great things from it in the future.  Two other trees the same age as the Kordia are an Opal plum and a Williams pear.  This is the first flowering for the Opal, but the Williams hasn't set fruit yet.  We think it needs a good pollinating partner;  while there are two close neighbors with pear trees, both flower slightly later than poor Williams.  We therefore planted another pear, an Asian variety, nearby to help out.  It set fruit for the first time this year, though it's still very young.

Additionally we have two gorgeous apple trees, varieties Sparta and Laxton Fortune.  Sparta is a deep red, almost purple;  Laxton Fortune is yellow with orange-red blush.  Both are good eating apples and it looks like both are forming lots of little fruits this year.  I have a young crab apple tree too, which has not yet flowered.  Unlike the rest of the fruit, it's in the small front garden.

The last trees I have are a Brown Turkey fig, still only just taller than my knee but growing two figs;  and two peach seedlings in pots, grown from seeds I planted from storebought peaches.  One is a year old and one sprouted only this spring.

I have a lot of fruit trees!  Except the peaches, they're all dwarfs or mini dwarfs, and I keep them pruned to stay small and within my reach.  That's not all my fruit, though.

Soft Fruit

Ah yes, soft fruit. It takes up so much less room and is so tasty!  Mostly the six year old eats it before the rest of us get a chance.  Here's what I have:
  • Blackcurrants and redcurrants
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries (in planters)
  • Barberries
  • Gooseberries (still new)
Wild Fruit

They're not strictly in my garden, but I have access to, and regularly make use of:
  • Blackberries (well, actually I do have some, but not on purpose...)
  • Elderberries (the neighbor at the back has two, right on our border)
There are quite a lot more wild fruits nearby which I've never really used:  sloes, bullaces (wild plums), rowan berries, hawthorn berries, wild cherries, crab apples.  All are edible, though some are more palatable than others.  The bullaces and crab apples are quite nice, though the sloes are a bit astringent.

About Seasonal Fruit

It's my goal to be self-reliant in seasonal fruit.  Truly, this would be enough for me and my husband, who eats very little fruit, though it might be harder for our six year old.  Eating a purple Sparta apple straight off the tree is divine, nothing like a storebought apple, even when in season.  Perhaps it's time to cut down on bought fruit and stick closer to the seasons.

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