Sunday, May 13, 2012

the promise of plums, apples, and figs

While we sow and worry the soil in our raised beds, we sometimes forget what is happening around us in our small orchard of fruit trees. We performed a light spring pruning on our apples a few weeks ago, and unearthed the fig trees that we had buried for the winter; however, the trees had been dormant when we worked on them.

At the end of yesterday’s work day, I walked around the perimeter of the garden, looking at the fruit trees. I was pleasantly surprised to see that our Stanley plum tree is full of beginning fruit. Last year,  after suffering through a windstorm that happened at a critical point in the season, the plum tree lost most of its fruit, yielding only six pounds at harvest. If only a portion of the tiny plums that are on the tree make it to autumn, we could have a bumper crop.
Our apple trees are also loaded with bundles of potential fruit. It is a long time from flowering to picking, however; many things can conspire to keep the yield low, as it was last year. It is, nevertheless, heartening to witness what is literally perennial optimism, as apples start to blossom

The combination of an early thaw and a late freeze a few weeks ago may have damaged our pear trees. We’ll know for sure in a couple of weeks.

Even Persephone, our larger fig tree, has started fruiting. Last year, the then two-year old tree produced a handful of small, mild fruit late in the season. This year, we may get more, and earlier.