|Apples On The Tree by Jeanette ONeil|
Looking out at my apple and pear trees this morning reminded me of trips to the orchards as a kid. Back then and still is, its normal to be attuned to what is in season. Talk spreads around the community about what orchards are ready and if someone has pecans or flats of strawberries for sale. Seasons of strawberries, peaches, blueberries, cherries, apples and all are well known. Plans are made around the different harvest times and about how the food is going to be preserved. Jams, jellies or freezing the fruit for pies and cobblers are all taken into consideration. Oftentimes much of it is shared with neighbors and family around there. Nothing goes to waste.
I've had the privilege of picking fruits and nuts in orchards and from neighbor's yards. Sometimes all it would take is a promise of cherry pie to an elderly neighbor for a chance to pick cherries from their tree. It was a good trade off for all of us. Beating the birds to the ripe cherries was always a challenge and made us work as faster and not take a day for granted. We worked quickly and picked every cherry we could possibly reach in that huge cherry tree. We were supplied for an entire year if the harvest was good.
Trips to the apple orchard were always interesting. With the different varieties of apples we needed to be taught which ones were ripe and which ones weren't. Green apples weren't always an indicator of it not being ripe, but you sure didn't want to pick one that wasn't ready. I remember learning how to watch were I stepped also because honeybees loved the overly ripe apples that had fallen from the trees. It made for quite a bit of excitement the day one of the bees got stuck in my hair. My poor uncle tried to get it out and the stinging commenced before it was over. The poor honeybee didn't survive the chaos.
Another fun trip was to a place called, "Blueberry Hill". We loved going there. Blueberries are some of the easiest fruit to pick there is. Mature bushes are within arms length for picking with zero thorns. With my whole family picking it wasn't long and we had plenty for the year. Taking them home and flash freezing them was our favorite.
Good memories and a love for eating whole fruits started because of all of this. Harvest time is something I still eagerly anticipate even though I've had to adjust to the change of moving to Texas and its different seasons. For here blueberry and blackberry season is upon us. My plans to go to a local blueberry farm are in the mix so hopefully I can have enough for the year. The freshness of the fruit and cost comparison to grocery stores make picking your own a winner all around.
|This is a chart for ALL of Texas!!|