Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Nectarine and Other Hijinks

My nectarine tree has two nectarines on it, two. These are cherished and coddled little sweet things just ready to be eaten (the pic above is an oldie). I plan on sharing one with my Mum today and one with my lovely boyfriend in a few days. Both will be blissful eating experiences I am sure. Now as you can tell from this I am a sharer. I love sharing the produce from my balcony garden. It isn't much, but it goes around a fair way. I cook meals for my friends with it. Occasionally if there is a glut of tomatoes I take some to my cousin's house. Even my neighbours sometimes get a stray carrot or two.

But not everyone is a sharer, some are stealers! And I've heard some bonkers stories about fruit tree use and abuse this Christmas and I just wanted to share them with you.

Story 1 - beware the mother in law

My cousin told me the story of a friend of his who has a lovely stonefruit tree in his backyard. For the sake of the story let's say it is an apricot. The tree is often laden with fruit, bulging, sagging, just waiting to ripen. You have to be quick to beat the birds to it, but in his case he was too slow and a bird got it. Yes, just a single bird - his mother in law! She came over one day and cleaned him out of fruit. What's worse is that it wasn't for her own consumption - but she gave them to her friends at church!!! RANDOM! I don't think I need to say much more, except that this is wrong, wrong, so many levels of wrong.

And it isn't isolated. Another friend at uni had the entire contents of his apple tree stolen by neighbours while he was away. And no neighbour will own up to it - but given the isolation of his backyard it had to be one of them.

Story 2 - karma counter

My Aunt has a neighbour who counts the fruit on his avocado tree. Even though technically the fruit hanging over my Aunt's side of the fence is hers (a fact that sent him pale with terror when she told him) he keeps them for himself. Now if the tree had one or two fruit, like my lemon tree at most times, then I'd understand this hoarding and counting and keeping to oneself. However, the tree, in its worst year, usually has over seventy fruit! SEVENTY! All for him, and his wife. And the day one accidentally fell off on my Aunt's side of the fence ... well ... she threw it back over for fear of this little man and what he might do lest the counting fall short.

I know if I had a tree with that much fruit I'd be gorging on avocado each day, and giving them away to those I love best, those nearest, those a little over the way and probably anyone who just walked by.

He does this each year. And then one year there were only a few avocados on the tree! Karma for the counter, karma.

But back to my nectarines - and wouldn't you know it, sharing pays off. Like the neighbour of my Aunt's I had been counting my nectarines, but even a toddler with dyscalculia could tell there were only two, well two highly visible ones at least. Yesterday I looked out and saw a nectarine lying on the mulch, fully ripe. I thought maybe I'd knocked one of the two off, but no, there were still two on there, ready to be shared accordingly. This was a miracle third nectarine! As I was enjoying a day to myself I decided to let this third morsel be all mine. And it was delicious. :) Ok so in a post about sharing I end up keeping the extra to myself, but I don't think there's too much harm in that.

1 comment:

Scyrene said...

In the UK, fruit overhanging a neighbour's property is still yours - they must offer it back if it falls onto their plot.

You're right though - sharing is best. You might have less, but you often end up getting interesting stuff in return. I'm sharing my friends' garden this year - they provide the space, I provide the labour, and we'll share the harvest :)

PS - I've enjoyed following your blog for a while. Hope it continues!