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“Fruit Trees Are In Bloom” from Singing Is Believing by Pat Wynne. Released: 2008
This post is an update to my post of April 10th, 2015:
As readers who follow this blog will know, the “elephant” (4,700 + cookbooks), made a 10 mile move from Northeast Albuquerque to Southeast Albuquerque, in January. After many backbreaking and mind-boggling hours of packing, unpacking, sorting, shelving and the like, the task is more or less complete (of course, it will never be complete, as I now have a few bare shelves to fill in the collection…onward and upward! (UPDATE: As of the beginning of November, 2015, the collection has grown past 5,000: so much for the bare shelves!)
One of the nicest aspects of my new home is a variety of fruit trees and shrubs, planted by the previous owners. Fortunately, before we moved in, the owner graciously gave us a whirlwind tour of the horticulture and kindly left us a “map” of what and where everything is. Most of the species of the fruits are not in my rather common lexicon of fruits, such as peach, apple, plum, although there are some of those as well. Thus, I have been researching garden books for information on the strange variety of trees in our backyard.
By far, to me, the most unusual is the “Flying Dragon Trifoliate Orange”, which grows in the corner of our courtyard and is just now beginning to leaf out.
According to the previous owner, it is edible, but bitter, although several other sources I have consulted say it is not edible at all. I may err on the side of caution and go with the latter advice. (UPDATE: I didn’t have to worry about potential poisoning. The “Flying Dragon Trifoliate Orange” went through Spring, Summer and Fall without bearing anything remotely resembling fruit. Just a bunch of thorny spiny limbs and some pretty green leaves)
Also planted in our courtyard and the backyard are several types of berries: Elderberry, Serviceberry and the more mysteriously named “Orus 8 Jostaberry”. (UPDATE: The Elderberries produced beautiful white flower heads, which promptly shrivelled, turned brown and fell off. Then the leaf clusters dropped off. So much for Elderberry Pie. The Serviceberry did produce berries, but none for my consumption, however, they went to a good cause: a mother robin and her offspring, who had nested in the Juniper tree adjacent to the Serviceberry treated her youngster with a steady supply of food. As for the Jostaberry, it produced nice green leaves, struggled a bit, gave a heavy sigh and died)
There are also , Poorman Gooseberries, Glenndale Gooseberries and Amish Red Gooseberries. Red Lake Currants, Purple Midgy Grapes, a Red Gem Goumi and a Sweet Scarlet Goumi round out the small stuff. Never heard of Goumis before.
(UPDATE: The Gooseberries also decided they didn’t like the new owners and bit the dust late in the summer. The Purple Midgy Grapes produced some leaves and tendrils, but nothing else. As for the “Goumis”, they fizzled as well and I can’t even find them anymore)
(UPDATE: Ah, the enigmatic Seedless Che! Well, the Seedless Che did produce a number of little “ches”, which then over the period of a couple of weeks blew off during several canyon wind tunnel events. I never even got to taste a single one, but they looked pretty)
Although the backyard is not large, most of the fruit trees are pretty small, and a few are dwarf versions. At harvest time, I’ll be busy consulting my fruit books for ways to use Sugar Pearls Apricots, Flavor King Pluots and Carmine Jewel Cherries.
(UPDATE: I harvested a whopping 6 apricots, which we promptly ate. We had about a dozen Flavor King Pluots, which were hard, even when ripe and really nothing to write home about. Carmine Jewel Cherries produced 2 (count’em, two) tiny cherries.
Then, there are the Dapple Dandy Pluots, Flavor Supreme Pluots, Santa Rosa Plums and Methley Plums, not to mention the mysterious “Ichi Ki Kei Jiro Persimmon” and the “Seedless Che”. (UPDATE: The Dapple Dandy Pluot is at death’s door and produced nothing but leaves, infested with bugs, even after spraying, etc. Santa Rosa Plums were big winners and produced a lot of delicious plums, enough to make Plum liqueur, Plum Muffins, Plum Cake, Plum barbeque Sauce, Plum Juice, etc. plus plenty to give away. Ichi Ki Kei Jiro Persimmon was finally harvested a few days ago, and the fruits ripened indoors. There were about 56 persimmons on the tree and I made Persimmon Jam (which was supposed to be a recipe for jelly, but these persimmons are very dry) and also, Persimmon Muffins, which turned out to be tasty, but nothing spectacular)
I also have a Celeste Fig, an Ultra Dwarf Bing Cherry, a Craig’s Crimson, a Green Gage Plum and a Golden Nectar Plum.
Throw in a couple of Pomegranates (Russian and Wonderful), a few older unspecified apple trees and three tiny olive trees (they are more like olive branches now). Wow! Of all of the wonderful fruit trees and bushes in my new yard, though, I am on pins and needles waiting for the Flying Dragon Trifoliate Orange to produce! The name is just so intriguing. If any of my readers have ever made any jam or pies with Flying Dragon Trifoliate Orange, Seedless Che or Sweet Scarlet Goumi, please do let me know. I’ll need some advice! (UPDATE: The Celeste Fig produced 3 tiny figs by late summer, which shriveled and blew away. The biggest winner of all was the dwarf cherry, which produced a LOT of beautiful, sweet cherries, no bugs, no disease and a real treat! I made Cherry liqueur, Cherry Vodka, Cherry Jam, Cherry Cake, Cherry Muffins, etc. and gave quite a few away as well. The Olive Trees are still olive branches)
(UPDATE: The Russian Pomegranante had a real plethora of blossoms on it during early spring, but once again, the eternal canyon wind tunnel effect at our residence dispatched most of the blossoms. We were left with a large bucketful, however, which I turned into Pomegranate juice and used some of the fresh seeds in cooking)
UPDATE: I also have a Prickly Pear Cactus in the front yard, which produced quite a few “tunas” (see my post of “Making Syrup from Tunas? C’mon now!, September 24, 2015) and I made Prickly Pear nectar, which was delicious.
Because so much was happening with the move, I didn’t get to spend much time hovering over the fruit trees, and by the time I thought about dormant oil spray, it was too late in the season, so the insects did their thing and reduced the harvest on many trees. However, now that I’ve gone through nearly one year, I’ve learned something: don’t plant fruit trees in extremely windy places!