The Apricots Have Landed

Homegrown organic apricots and organic blueberries for breakfast this morning.  Our apricot tree doesn’t always produce due to the vagaries of weather here at 3100 feet on the cusp of the Mojave Desert, but when it does, it’s heaven!

The apricot tree was small and struggling, with a lot of bark damage when we moved in almost 16 years ago, but now it’s a lovely shade tree and this year I figured out how to stay ahead of the squirrels and we have a nice harvest.

I went out just about every day for the past couple of weeks and pulled off the fruit that would come loose in my hand pretty easily and finished ripening in boxes in the house. On Sunday I saw that the squirrels had had a bit of a party in the yard, so I got out the step ladder and picked everything I could reach. I dropped the fruit that was bird-damaged onto the lawn and let the squirrels and rabbits take them. They did!

Hope you have a good gardening season!


Mighty Fine Apple


We don’t grow a lot of apples in our yard in Southern California, so I have to show off this big beautiful Granny Smith.

I enlisted Dodger’s help to give it some scale, and then the California topo map because…boosterism, I guess.  This apple was grown between the L.A. Basin an the Mojave Desert, due west of Dodger’s right toenail.

Ulitmately, I think this photo says more about Dodger’s patience with his humans than it does about fruit or California.

Pomegranate Love

Pomegranates.  Worth the effort.

That bowl was filled with a pomegranate from the farmer’s market, but we hope to some day have our own  home grown fruit.  My brother, Bauer, grew this pomegranate sapling from a cutting and sent it home with us last month.  It spent a couple of nights in Santa Fe on our way home. We plead with the agricultural officer at the California border and he kindly brought out a wheelbarrow and cleaned the dirt off of the roots along with a fig and two coffee plants.  We stopped at the first place we could, a Rite Aid in Needles, CA (about six miles from the border) to buy a bucket and a bottle of water to get them the rest of the way home.

Some of the bottom leaves turned yellow and fell off, but now he little pomegranate that could looks happy in it’s new home, with two little coffee plants.  The fig didn’t make it.  Maybe in a few years we’ll be showing off home grown pomegranates!

First Fig

No, this fig does not reside in the White House.  But it is the first fig of the season, which Jens brought me from the tree in her back yard.

I try hard not to be an envious person, but some days are more challenging than others.  A fresh picked fig is a delicacy not to be taken lightly.  If they were a little hardier we’d have one in our yard.  (Believe me, we tried.)

This fig was sweet and purple/tan inside.   Best I can do is be grateful and continue to profess my love of all homegrown produce.   And maybe work on my puppy dog eyes?

Fruit Happens

So, I guess the evil squirrels didn’t get all the apricots after all.  There were a lot more there than I realized.



Givin’ props to my tree.

Look at the SIZE of this apricot!  It seemed to have doubled in size in the past couple of days.  All the necessary cooling and heating and rain conditions seldom hit just right for us to get any crop at all from our lovely apricot, but this year is the year.  I didn’t even begrudge the scrub jay I saw eating one on top of the shed…there are plenty to go around.   Not all of them are this big, and some are sunburned a dark color, but this little tree looked like it was about to die when we moved  here 12  1/2 years ago.  It’s a good little tree, fruit or not.

Shy little peach tree.  From the side you can’t see any fruit.  This is looking up from below the branches.  Not nearly ripe yet, but it’s working.

Just yesterday I fretted to my mom that there were no blossoms on my sugar snap pea vines.  Guess that’s all it took.  Also found a couple of 1-inch peas, so I guess I wasn’t looking closely enough a few days ago!