Saturday, July 20, 2013

Stone is Best, Mon (Revisited)

The last time I wrote that title, I was talking about stone crab claws, but if you visit the ranch now, you'll see we are buried in stone fruit.

Last year was a fab year for pommes. We had the best tasting apples ever. 2013, however, is Year of the Stone Fruit at El Rancho.

The Absolutely Best Tasting apricots ever. The sweetest, juiciest yellow peaches. Heavenly nectarines. Plums of all sorts, with amazingly complex flavors. Ahhhh. What could be better? (Well, a ranch without squirrels would be better, but...)

We've been picking and eating, canning and freezing and drying and there is still more to come. I made deliveries to our local Food Bank, I take bags and bags to neighbors and friends. Everyone I meet during this season gets fruit. I am Fruit Pusher Supreme.

"First one's free!"

But so is the second one, and the third, and... for as long as they will take the fruit.

"Yours have a much higher sugar content than the ones I bought at the farmers' market," my neighbor phoned me after I took a sample of our stone fruit to her. "I feel like I wasted my money canning the peaches I bought."

"My husband and I were so impressed. Your plums are so incredibly sweet and tasty," commented my activist friend.

I smile. ("I know," I want to say. "Our carrots are also sweeter than any I have ever tasted." I want to brag.) It makes me so proud and happy when others tell me how good my produce is. And that's when I realize how much of a farmer I've become!

This year, many trees are so overloaded, branches are breaking.

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