Buckets and buckets full of windfall fruit are doled out in small doses to the critters in the show barn and in the bull pen.
The cows love the fruit and every one of them stop eating the food in front of them when they see me set down to begin cutting the apples and pears in half. They try to wait patiently for the sweet treat, but are unsuccessful and they stand there drooling, mooing and tossing their heads while they are sliced. The damaged fruit is beyond being edible for humans but the cattle enjoy every bite and would even fight over it if they have the chance.
If given the opportunity to gorge on the fruit, they will be uncomfortable and could go off their feed completely. Keeping the fruit picked up helps to keep the hornet population under control.
Jackson, the dog, has become predictable.
We have to tether the dogs at night to keep them from chasing deer, elk, coyotes and hundreds of other night prowlers. When we unhook Jackson from his chain, the first place he visits is the pear tree where he grabs a fallen pear in his mouth as he runs by to the pasture for his morning bathroom routine. He holds the pear gently (drooling out both sides of his mouth) as he takes care of his business, then runs and jumps into the back of the John Deere Gator to eat his delicious fruit.
The smacking noise he makes while eating makes the fruit sound absolutely heavenly. Once he is done with the pear, he is ready to start the morning chores by helping to feed the cows.
Growing up, we called the purple stone-fruit, prunes, it didn’t matter if they were plump and juicy, or small and tart, or even if they had already been dried. They were called prunes.
My sister-in-law reminds me that plums and prunes are practically the same thing. She demonstrates the notion when she says the trees look nicely plummed this year. Well that really doesn’t prove her point, does it? So I will continue to call them prunes. Continue reading
It has been many years since I have had good, homemade apricot jam sealed with paraffin.
Recent visitors to the farm brought a jar of their home preserves. What a treat! I almost could not wait to break the seal to enjoy the special treat.
It so happened that the next day, the very last pear dropped off the Bartlett tree. I was surprised because it was still firm after all the others had ripened and disintegrated. The unripe pear gave me a dessert idea.
I walked out to the garden and found a handful of raspberries. It was the total of the fruit the berry vines produced with their waning energy as they prepare for winter. Not as sweet as their early spring berries, these had a bit tartness to them.
I peeled the pear, sliced it in half, cored it and brushed the cut side with apricot jam before poaching the fruit until tender. I added the raspberries and a small dollop of ice cream .
I thinned a tablespoon of jam with a bit of water to top the layers.
The warm, sweetened pears with the smooth creamy ice cream along with the tartness of the raspberries created an exceptional dessert treat.
Stepping out the front door one morning, we noticed the driveway was covered in strange drag marks. Continue reading
This time of year, the fruit trees are dropping the excess pears and apples from the trees. The immature fruit is falling from the tree as a natural thinning program in an effort to produce larger fruit. Leaving the fruit on the ground to rot not only makes a mess but it encourages rodent activity.
We pick up the fallen fruit daily. The cows are rewarded with the discarded fruit. The bounty is about five gallons a day that is split between morning and evening feedings. Continue reading