DON’T BE FOOLED BY BEAUTY


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You can’t trust beauty; we bought a beautiful Pink Lady apple tree a year or so ago purely on the grounds of beauty, and thinking it would get along well with the Golden Delicious. Maybe a nice combination for pie. It has proven to be untrustworthy in all respects.

The first year it had 2 apples and I forgave it. Last year five apples made it to the finish line. This year there were 3 and one fell off after Charlie’s leash got wrapped around the branch. I apologized to Dr. A because I was on the other end of the leash.

It’s lovely pyramidal shape has been nipped down to its buds because of fungus attacks in spite of dousing it with spray. It looks like a disappointed old crone waiting for a dance. Its apples were hard and sour and didn’t ripen until late October anyway.

So off with its head! And let that be a lesson to any other tree in the orchard.

A FIGGY PARADISE


The Naughtiest Snake in the Woods, clay sculpture by kayti Sweetland Rasmussen

Remember Adam and Eve sitting there under the tree dressed only in their fig leaves? It was when they fell off, that all the trouble began. Adam always impressed me as a rather dull individual, and we all know Eve was the Mother of all wisdom and the Grandmother of all mischief. The story never elaborated about the number of figs they ate, but I guess all that ended with the apple.

Anyway, I have written before about my insane love for figs. Black ones, green ones, doesn’t matter which variety. Every place I lived in Southern California when I was growing up, had a fig tree.
We planted a Black Mission fig tree and I began collecting recipes for ways to use them. The first year it had a few and I attributed the quantity to its young age. The second year, nothing. I had some good advice (not from Dr. Advice this time) about the care and feeding of fig trees, which I carefully followed. I pollarded it, fed it steer manure and some liquid thing, sprayed it and watered it. Then last year I found exactly one fig. I asked a grandson if he liked them and he said he’d never had one, so I gave it to him.

We had a big discussion about keeping it, even chopped away at its larger branches, but decided that even if it was going to be barren, it gave good pleasant shade over a garden bench where we can take a morning cuppa or an afternoon cool drink.
It even gave birth to a volunteer sprout three years ago which I planted in a pot, and it has three nicely formed but green figs right now. However the mother tree, though loaded with small green figs the size of almonds, seemed to be a loser again this year.

Then yesterday morning my neighbor, knowing my love for the fruit of his tree, brought me a nice basket of his Kadota figs. Still recovering from our flu bug, I ate them all.
Today joy reigns supreme. My dear and thoughtful husband climbed the tree yesterday afternoon, and handed me down a small basket of the little darlings, with the promise of more to come. They have been dragging their little heels, but apparently the time lapse between small green, and large, black and juicy is a mere blink of an eye when they get busy.
Anybody want a fig? I may be sharing soon!
I’m roasting some today with honey and freshly ground black pepper to garnish a pork roast.