Sweet, smart Mama Kat, with her frugality and her perfect skin and eyebrows and delicious camera presence, has invited us this week to write about something apple related. Chances are she was hoping we’d share recipes for the crisp new season or, in light of recent retail events, maybe a tech rant or funny story. But all I can think about is my wanna-be Lazy W orchard and its singular fruit.
A few years ago I planted three fruit trees on the south side of our pool yard, two apple varieties and one plum, and have babied them ever since. And by “babied” I mean I look at them lovingly and remember to water them deeply and infrequently, not a flimsy sprinkle every day. And I never, under any circumstances, speak ill about them in public or accidentally chop them down. Never. I am a pretty decent tree mama. But in three growing seasons now, despite abundant flowering each spring, despite thick leaf cover each summer, these three trees have among themselves produced exactly one piece of fruit, a yellow apple about the size of a golf ball.
Now don’t get me wrong; this small yellow gem is adorable! I mean, I appreciate the heck out of it. I love it. Every time I see it my mouth salivates and I wonder how fast I can find the salt shaker. But I dare not touch it. Being the only fruit in my entire orchard (I have no problem using terms loosely if they make me sound cool) this is a bonafide treasure.
But when will there be more? Can I even be sure of more to come? What am I doing wrong, do I just want it too much? I think about this more than I probably need to. Like, every time I buy apples at the grocery store. And every time I pass by the three trees while doing yard work. And at every single Hot Tub Summit (they are adjacent). And every time I prune back the over productive tomato vines. It’s hard not to compare parts of your garden, you know. Difficult not to shame one plant by praising another.
Handsome and I have discussed relocating the Lazy W Orchard in favor of installing a pool deck, but I just can’t bring myself to risk that one tiny apple. To me, after all this waiting and watching, it would feel like giving up on a miracle.
This definitely takes the idea of #slowfood to a whole new level. I think maybe even Barbara Kingsolver would grow impatient. Then again, she would probably have planted more than just three trees, so that by the time they would come into their own she is suddenly baking apple pie for the entire county.
Thanks for listening to my apple woes. I have a lot to learn about growing apples, for sure, and this fruit angst is raising all kinds of questions about the economy of small scale farming. We paid $15 for each fruit tree, three seasons ago. And I don’t care how much you like apples; $45 is too much for just one.
Do you have any apple growing experience? What can you teach me? What is the most you have ever spent on one piece of fruit?
The best time to plant a tree
is twenty years ago.
Be sure to click over to Kat’s site and browse the other stories today.
Lots of fun people!