Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Plum Crazy

8 Lbs of Santa Rosa Plums

Today I climbed up on my rickety aluminum ladder and picked all of the plums from my Santa Rosa Plum tree. This was after I carefully untied and opened the bird netting that was protecting the plum bounty from all manner of critters...including me. I tediously untied the twist ties that I had holding the netting together. I got impatient to get at my beautiful purple plums and ripped some of the netting off in a fruit frenzy.

This year's harvest, all 8 lbs of it, is probably the biggest harvest I have had since planting the plum tree in 1999. Some years the weather just doesn't produce ideal conditions for plums. This year was a good year.

I enlisted the aid of partner Jack to help me remove the bird netting off of the tall tree after about an hour of me struggling to do it all by myself. The netting gets stuck on every single pointy twig on the tree, sometimes multiple times in a row. Very frustrating. Together we finally removed all of the netting without breaking the tree. Well, I did break a few sprouts that I would have pruned out anyway come winter. I also tore the netting in places, which will need to be repaired or replaced before next Spring. It is a nuisance, that bird netting, but it does its job well. It allows me the chance to eat my plum harvest before the birds, squirrels and deer can eat it.

I gave some of the fresh plums to Jack., (he loves fresh fruit) and will probably eat most of the rest fresh. Might make some plum jam or plum sauce, but then again, I can do that with the plums I have stored in the freezer.

I like those beautiful purple plums. They are sweet and tart. Just my style. Plum crazy.

© Copyright 2008 Mountain Harvest Basket


Dagny said...

I love that idea of having a half birthday! We used to have kids day growing up where us kids were appreciated with breakfast in bed and presents. I think I'll start the half birthday tradition as well.

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CaliforniaGrammy said...

Oh Jen, we used to have a Santa Rosa plum tree when we lived in southern California and I, too, love the sweet/tartness they have. I'd be making up some yummy plum jam if I could get a hold of those puppies! But you enjoy them, you worked hard for them, and you saved them for your own enjoyment by netting the tree.

Hardware Bob said...

You are very protective of your fruit harvests, I have never seen anyone so dedicated to gathering and harvesting their bounty.

Through scratches, bruises, and dealing with the annoying bird netting, you are very focused and bound and determined to get more fruit than the wildlife does. You are really something.

And then you weigh it, take photos, and religiously record the harvest production comparing to last years activity. I really think you are secretly keeping track of the points between the Wildlife and Jen the farmer teams.

You are tenacious, Jen will win, I am sure of it.

Farmer Jen said...

Hi Dagny,
Welcome and thank you for leaving a comment on my blog. I am glad you enjoyed my half birthday post!

Hi CA Grammy,
I grew up with a Santa Rosa plum tree (and many other fruit trees) at my CA Silicon Valley home. My Mom loved to garden, so we had many trees and flowers.

Netting the tree is a lot of work, but it's the only way to get any fruit harvest.

Hi Bob,
Yes, I am pretty serious and dedicated to producing at least some of my own fruits and veggies. I get my love of gardening and nature from my Mom, and my wild independent spirit from both parents. Farming is a challenge, and a gamble. Sometimes the weather doesn't cooperate, sometimes bugs or disease ruin your crops, sometimes you are just too busy and too tired to get out there and plant, and tend and harvest on time. Sometimes I need to remind myself that my gardening is supposed to be enjoyable for me. When I lack energy it is hard to remember that all of the time. I love the fruits of my labor however, and apparently so do you and Jack. More zucchini coming your way soon!

Twinville said...

Hi Farmer Jen,

Those plums look deliciously divine!
This has been a bad fruit producing year for us due to late freezes, hail storms, cold weather, lack of rain, and then rain fall too late in the season to do much good.

So no peaches or apricots of us...not even one! :(
I know it's probably futile but I keep hoping we'll at least get some apple trees in the next couple months. When we bought this house last year, the apple trees were heavy in late September.

I had a friend who made plum wine with her plums. Oh my! Talk about scrumptious! Enjoy :)