Sunday, August 23, 2015

About Plum Time

The best part of growing edible things is definitely the harvesting of them.

Well, that's my favorite part, at any rate. It is pretty exciting to take things I've harvested, combine them with other delicious things and create something new and nourishing and pleasurable, but nothing brings out the childlike wonder and awe and joy in me quite the way that harvesting does.

And it doesn't matter how often I harvest, it is ALWAYS fun and always amazes me. Plants are amazing. They DGAF. We can exist or not, they don't care. They're going to go on, with or without us. They are compelled to survive and reproduce, by a force that exists without the help of mankind. And some plants complete the cycle so quickly, you cannot help but be continually impressed. Sunflowers, for example. You plant a tiny little seed in the spring and by the end of the summer you can have a plant up to 10 feet tall!

I could wax poetic about my love of plants for hours, but life is short and blog posts should be too, so I'll get to the point.

Today was plum harvest day! It is truly one of my favorite days of the year.

Butt plums are definitely one of the reasons why.

My hippie kids taking an active and hands on part in the production of their food is another reason why I LOVE harvest days.

The gorgeous color of a polished plum is an inspiring blessing for an artist to behold, and one of the best things about plum harvesting. Our plums are such a dusty, dull, unimpressive sort of purpley blue velvet when we pick them, but with a little rub from a shirt hem, or a quick wash with a cloth in a bowl of warm water, they glow like the deepest amethyst jewels.

Some people are kinda like that too, you know?

With just a little bit of attention, they go from blending in, to shining so bright they cannot help but stand out.

We only have the one dwarf tree, so the processing that comes after the harvesting doesn't take nearly as long as it would if we had a full sized tree, but the pitting and packing for freezing does take a few to several hours depending on the size of the harvest.

This year's crop was smaller than the past two years' worth, so I don't think it'll take me more than a day to get them all cut up and stored in the deep freezer.

I literally do absolutely nothing to take care of my fruit trees. I just let them do their thing. I never remember to prune or spray or what have you, and anyway, it is hard to find them time with my son still being so young. It is pretty dang awesome that for the price of a few hours of processing time, I get enough plums to keep me in cakes and bread and galettes and kutchens all winter long.

As I start diving into my pile of plums tonight, I'm remembering the fair-trade vanilla beans I bought earlier this month, and thinking that some vanilla bean whiskey plum preserves might be in order.

I also have a buttload of mint growing in the yard as well. Mint plum preserves might make a lovely marinade for meats. Hmmmm...

On second thought, maybe I should put processing off until tomorrow, so I can explore all my options a little more. It is the last night of summer vacation, after all. I should probably be savoring it.

Yeah, Imma go with that.

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