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Dad’s Fresh Fruit for Post Produce

sour cherries

Sour cherries from my dad’s front yard have gone into pies and jelly and will end up in syrup as well.

When I woke up this morning I realized that today is Post Produce and I hadn’t posted last night! Emptying my dad’s house in Ithaca has me scattered, so my post and linky widget are up quite late this month. Please don’t panic. The linky is live for nearly two weeks (scroll to the end of this post to find it), so if you want to participate, you’ve plenty of time to report on what you’re eating from your garden.

Dad’s Cherry Orchard

My father doesn’t have a vegetable garden, but he’s still intent on keeping his land productive. Ten or more years ago, he planted a sour cherry tree in his front yard, and the tree has been with fruit for three weeks. After our first harvest, I baked a cherry pie, grabbed a slice for myself, and left the rest in the kitchen so he could stop by and pick it up while I visited my family in Lewisburg.

dad picking raspberries

That’s my 93-year-old dad picking raspberries from the brambles he planted two years ago. The harvest has been modest, but for all the fresh canes growing this season, there’s great promise for next year’s harvest.

I’ve since harvested twice more. I made jelly that included cherry juice in the mix, and I stored some cherry juice that I’ll soon make into syrup and can. I use such syrup on pancakes, waffles, and ice cream; in marinades for meats; and in drink mixes. My dad, I think, will use it on ice cream.

There’s one more harvest of cherries on the tree but they’ll have to wait because an afternoon thunderstorm diminished my enthusiasm for picking.

Dad’s Raspberry Farm

My brother, who now owns the family farm, cleared some land a few years back and planted chestnut trees. My dad bought a whole bunch of raspberry plants—both red and black raspberries—and established a modest bramble patch along one edge of the chestnut plantation.

Wild black raspberries

While my dad picked his domesticated raspberries, I pounded underbrush around the chestnut trees and found plenty of wild black raspberry plants producing terrific fruits.

I’ve been out to the farm with my dad twice in the past few weeks to harvest berries with my dad. Considering the number of plants out there, the harvests have been modest. I’ve found more wild black raspberries among the chestnut trees than my dad and I have harvested from the cultivated plants.

So far, I’ve made and canned three cups of black raspberry syrup, and a batch of jelly that included raspberry juice in the mix. Yes. I’m talking about the same batch of jelly that included cherry juice. My brother, also, made a small batch of raspberry jelly.

Raccoon

While picking berries with Dad, I noticed two raccoons amble up a half-fallen tree, spy on us for a bit, and then curl up for a nap. This has nothing to do with celebrating homegrown produce, but it was kind of fun.

My dad’s apartment isn’t well appointed for preserving large batches of fruit, it makes sense that my brother and I take on these tasks. For me, the best part of the story is that my 93-year-old dad continues to plant trees and brambles. He’s really into growing Black Locust and Redbud trees from seed, and has set several young trees out near my brother’s chestnut starts. I hope I’m still around when my dad harvests his trees for the lumber.

Now You Post Produce!

Write a blog post about your homegrown produce. What are you harvesting? How are you preparing it to eat? What’s about to ripen? Return here and use the linky widget below to link to your post.

 

4 Responses to “Dad’s Fresh Fruit for Post Produce”

  • The last two weeks have been the start of the harvests. I’ve picked tomatoes, green beans, zucchini, jalapenos, eggplants and onions. I’ve already canned 2 quarts of tomatoes and froze 3 lbs. of beans. The refrigerator is filling up with zucchini. I need to find some recipes.

  • Love the berries ripening fruit right now….I don’t have enough for canning anything but I do enjoy them as I wander the garden…of course the blackberries may be taking over and I only planted one bush.

  • Paula:

    the wild wineberries are just now done in SE PA. The look like a small raspberry and are a bit more sour….although if we could leave them on the vines til totally ripe they would be sweeter! but then the birds get them. Gave up raspberries. Planted along the veg garden fence and they went crazy sending brambles in the veg patch…and giving cover for voles to hide and then go thru the fence and eat the tomatoes! Give our best to your Dad, a garden no matter what kind gives you a reason to get moving in the morning!

  • Gwen joyner christensen:

    Here in southern cavliformnia, it’s easy to grow produce…but I really like my 14 fruit trees…
    Greetings to Ed your dad.

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