Sunday, June 29, 2014

Low-hanging fruit

When we moved here, we inherited a white nectarine and regular nectarine which were planted by the previous owners.  Both are commercially produced hybrids, meaning they've been selectively bred to produce an abundance of fruit.  I've never had much of a taste for nectarines, yet I have to admit these are pretty good, especially when eaten just this side of being ripe.  Turns out I love nectarines, as long as they are crisp, not mushy.

So the problem is not us eating the fruit.  The problem with commercial hybrids like these is that it's rare one family can put all the fruit they produce to producing that much is very hard on the tree, year to year.  Despite several rounds of thinning fruit, we have once again ended up with waaay too many nectarines.

I gave big baskets to the neighbors.  I gave bigger baskets to the kids at the winery.  And probably bushels to the birds.  And there's still more.

In another month or so it will smell like a country winery under those trees, as all the ripe, picked over fruit finally drops to the ground and begins to ferment and eventually, rot.  I will leave it there until cooler weather, when I will harvest the dried out fruit mummies and start all over again as the cycle goes around with the calendar year.  But I really do wish the previous owners had planted heirlooms, which in general have lower fruit yields than hybrids do.

Because one can only eat so many nectarines.


  1. Ahhh what a complicated problem. You hate to be any less than overjoyed with such a harvest, but you hate to waste the excess. But sharing with friends and neighbors must feel great. I'm barely growing a dozen basil plants this year. I had grand plans, but I just haven't been organized or attentive enough. I love nectarines. But I mainly make pies and crisps with them...
    Although, if you're a fan of oatmeal for breakfast, I'd imagine nectarines are a great addition. Have you tried the steel cut oats in the crock pot overnight? I haven't, but people seem to love it.

    1. I'm not a fan of oatmeal, I tried the steel cut oats but wasn't thrilled. It might be the weather here....8 months out of the year it's just to warm to want a hot breakfast! I do use the nectarines a lot for fruit salads with dinner though, nice to have something cool like that on a hot day!