Fruit, Fruit, Everywhere!

It began with the little red apples that are actually a cross between apples and crabapples (to give better disease resistance).  There was a bumper crop this year, and when I took eggs to the local food co-operative, I asked if the produce manager if he thought there was a market for them.  He said yes, after tasting one (tart-sweet, great for eating, sauce or pies).  Then there were the table grapes, Canadace, that are ripening in a wonderful way this year, just ahead of consumption by wasps — the ultimate in organic certification.  After 40 or so pounds of grapes, the peaches, several different trees, began to ripen, and finally, the nectarines, small, but fragrant and delicious.  Meanwhile, we, especially my husband, David, are cutting up the fruit that is not as marketable, due to blemishes or misshapen appearance, which represents approximately half of the crop — we freeze and dry this, for winter pies and incorporation into breakfast menus.  Last night, we were surrounded by boxes and 5-gallon buckets full of fruit, paring knives in hand and bowls filling up with intermediate-stage fruit.  What we can’t use or process fast enough goes to the turkeys and chickens — our flock of birds originally started as a way to combat the grasshopper outbreak in the vineyard, but which has become part of the complication of our lives……  Now we have hatched too many, so will be selecting young roosters for eating, and will have plenty of turkeys to sell by Thanksgiving.  And did I neglect to mention the way our two dogs beg for fruit? — they can have everything but the grapes, along with cantaloupes and tomatoes from the garden — true omnivores!

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