January 22, 2023
‘Tis the season of harvesting summer fruits. The raspberries continue to produce, and will do so for at least another month given the autumn fruiting variety hasn’t got underway properly yet. Picking them occupies around an hour of my morning, and I can see another round of jam-making may be required as the freezer is already well stocked. Jam-making is my man’s domain though. I rarely eat it.
As we’re also keeping an eye on a friend’s place at the moment, harvesting the bounty from their apricot tree is also on the agenda. It’s a well-established tree and it’s loaded, but it’s a case of beating the birds who must also be keeping an eye on every apricot, plum and peach tree in the district that’s not netted, ready to swoop in for a feed the moment fruit looks ripe enough.
We suspect the possums have also paid this property a visit, and if they go away to tell all their mates trees can be stripped of fruit overnight. Rather anxious that doesn’t happen so we’re picking apricots that still aren’t quite ripe. They’re swiftly achieving the juicy state though while laid out on baking trays on our kitchen counter. As of yesterday more half-ripe apricots are also spread out on paper on the spare bed!
Next it will be a case of beating the birds and possums to the greengages, as these plums are ripening fast too. I’m convinced birds are attuned to the berry and stoned fruit season, and once they’ve had their fill of one variety, they move on to the next. Certainly they seem to have become bored with boysenberries. I’d given up on picking ours believing it a waste of time because pesky blackbirds, starlings and magpies were nicking so many, but when I walked past the vines last week I was surprised how quickly I managed to fill a container. So I reckon the birds have moved on. Apricots are now flavour of the month, and next it will be greengages – unless we can beat them to it!