Friday, October 11, 2013

Eating up the garden

The dogs have suddenly been spending a lot of time visiting a particular spot in the yard... The first day I noticed their focus in that area I went over to see what was going on (you never know with these guys - dead toad, goose poop, fallen fruit...)

Yup, sure enough, it's fallen fruit!  I had two beach plum shrubs I put in maybe 5 yrs ago, and they've never done great.  The deer snack on the branches over winter, the branches are still very low to the ground and get bumped/broken when I mow, etc.  One of the two was on it's death bed this year, with almost all of the upper growth dead.  Between this and my having no luck (yet!) getting fruit from my Japanese plum trees (they're not hardy enough for late frosts), I decided to get a couple European plum trees instead.  Of the two old beach plums, the one closer to the house was the deathly one, so I dug it up, moved the healthier one into it's spot, and then put one of the two European plum trees in the place where I dug up the beach plum, and dug a new hole on the opposite side of the beach plum for the other tree.  So it's tree, shrub, tree now...and this time I planted the beach plum up higher, positioned (hopefully) for better upward growth.

Oh, and that deathly beach plum I dug out?  I couldn't just throw it away - I tucked it into the nearby flower bed and, wouldn't you know it - new growth is coming out of the base.  We'll see how it does in future years - maybe I'll let it stay there.  Maybe it'll do better!

Well, the two beach plums have never produced a TON of plums.  My goal with putting them in was to make wild plum jelly like both of my grandmothers did.  Plum jelly is my absolute favorite.  If the European plum trees end out making it and producing in future years, maybe I'll just be making mixed plum jelly with the tree plums and the shrub plums?

Anyhow - that's what Doogie and Daisy, mostly Daisy, have been doing in the yard lately.  The tree didn't produce a ton of these fruit (remember, I dug it up and moved it after it had set fruit - not nice on my part!), and it did drop a bunch, but there's still been a bunch dropping lately that Daisy's hoovering up.  They actually don't taste bad right now!  Sure, they're mostly pit and tough skin, but they have an almost Concord grape taste to them when you chew the skin.

Let's hope, in a couple years, I'm finally making plum jelly off our own property!

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