"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Friday, 22 February 2013

Fruits of our labour

I thought I'd give all of those in the northern hemisphere, who are wishing their lives away and pining for Spring, a glimpse of what lies ahead in their (growing) year.

For the first time ever we have, literally, eaten the fruits of our labour.

They may have been sparsely situated on the different plants, but a small reward is better than none at all.  I like to think of it as a teaser of what lies in store.
It wasn't easy putting these strawberries into the
freezer, but the thought of making strawberry
jam with homegrown strawberries was just too
good to miss.  Jam, though, maybe next season.
Strawberries - I harvested roughly 40 - 60 - small ones.  Not enough to make jam with, so, apart from some that immediately went into a strawberry fool, I popped those that hadn't been eaten straight off the plant by MKid in December, into the freezer.  I was hoping to gather enough over the season to make the aforementioned jam, but, alas, t'was not to be.  Never mind, they'll be delicious whizzed up and added to a glass of bubbly when we're sitting in front of the fireplace in winter :)  It's a Bucks Fizz with a difference, and one I can highly recommend.

Also, we harvested about a dozen Youngberries.  No photo's of them - they went straight into RMan's mouth - his favourite ever berry,, and one which reminds him of (as his memory serves him) a youngberry drink from his childhood called "Himbo" (Himbeern) .  Next year, hopefully, the plants will be more established and will share more of their bounty.

But - what was the the rest of the fruit?

Without further ado, here is what we were privileged to harvest...
These were not the grapes of wrath LOL
Four bunches of grapes from our grape vines.  Thankfully the baboons which invaded our neighbours plot in January, didn't get a scent of these of they would've been gone in a flash...
I will never be able to explain how sweet
grapes are that have been allowed to
completely ripen on a homegrown vine,
and not harvested just that touch
too soon, in order to give them a
slightly longer shelf life in the fridge of
your local supermarket.
Pomegranates - we only have four specimens, but the taste of those juicy segments is again a tease of the future.  We can wait - we're not in a  rush :)
One of four pomegranates on our 9 trees
And finally, I can completely understand the temptation in the Garden of Eden.  This is the first time we have ever eaten an apple straight off the tree, and it is completely addictive.  Crisp, juicy and delicious.
In two years time, we'll have plums and apricots to add to our harvest.  So, I better ensure that they get all the TLC they need until then.

20 comments:

DFW said...

Dani,

Thank you for sharing. I want to try growing some table grapes & apples both of which are not known to thrive in our area but I'm going to try anyway!

Kris said...

Baboons? BABOONS? Suddenly my deer and squirrel problems seem much more manageable. Congrats on keeping your fruit harvest to yourselves!

Dani said...

DFW - Reckon that PERHAPS if you prepared the ground well enough, and you plant in a protected area you may succeed. Would you local plant nursery not be able to give you any advice?

Good luck - it's certainly worth it LOL

Dani said...

Kris - Each to their own LOL Deer and squirrels would be a headache for me. At least the baboons don't normally visit too often :)

Barb. said...

I only have to worry about the parrots pinching our grapes...not sure how, if!, I'd try chasing away a Baboon. It's nice though isn't it, any fruit picked fresh, ripe, straight from the branch it grows from.
I'd say for anyone to at least give growing something a try, you never know, it might work.

Barb.

Quinn said...

Thank you for the visual reminder that after the ice melts there will be, eventually, fruits! That strawberry picture made my mouth water. I swear I can SMELL strawberries when I see a nice photo of them!

Crystal said...

Oh how I wish I had the space to plant that many fruit trees. Here we have to fend the monkeys off on an almost weekly basis. And if they are not stealing from my garden, they are climbing in the window and stealing right off my kitchen counter.

Dani said...

Barb - LOL Parrots???? Baboons are scared of loud noises, which is where RMan's weapon would come in handy.

I agree - everyone should try and grow what they would like to. I mean, look at what the Israeli's have done in the desert!

Dani said...

Quinn - You've not got too long to go... ;)

Dani said...

Crystal - Yeah, can imagine money's are a much bigger problem than the occasional baboons we see. The baboons have to travel 12kms from the nearest mountains to get to us, so we only have 2 or 3 visits from them a year.

The Orange Jeep Dad said...

My food supplies get ravaged by baboons all the time. Usually though, I just refer to them as... "darn kids!" LoL!

Dani said...

OJD - Welcome. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

Yeah - surprising the amount of damage that can be done by "baboons" like yours, huh? :)

Tami said...

Oh, so jealous! I'm hoping for fruit this year too! Isn't it wonderful? Although I'm shocked the ants didn't get your grapes.

Dani said...

Tami - Good point!?!? I wonder why they didn't fancy them? But I'm glad they steered clear LOL

JaneofVirginia said...

I was feeling not so far from you when you spoke of strawberries and grapes, two things I grow with some success here when the season is right. Then you mentioned baboons ! We have black bears here which compete for my blackberries (and we let them !) I don't know quite what to do with a baboon ! Most of the black bears here are sweet, although they have decreased the number of our backyard barbecues.

Dani said...

Jane - LOL - now BEARS - just the thought of them is enough - they frighten me...

Bee Girl said...

Thanks for this! I'm at the point of needing some reminders of the bounty that will come :-)

Dani said...

Bee Girl - You're very welcome :)

Sprig said...

those look like some fine fruits!

Dani said...

Sprig - Thanks. You wouldn't believe how fine - being our first they were precious LOL