Dreaming of Fruit
By Hadass Eviatar
Hadass is a Winnipeg writer. She blogs at My Coat of Many Colours (link is http://hadasseviatar.com/blog/), where she muses on life, health and the joys of local food.
It’s the Winter That Wouldn’t Die. Below-normal temperatures, piles of snow everywhere. Talk of a big flood, again. But I’m dreaming of summer’s fruit.
The apple trees in my yard are still bare, still holding on to last year’s apples that didn’t get picked. I’m sure the birds who stayed here through the winter appreciated them. I need to figure out some way to get those apples – maybe I’ll strike a deal with my neighbour, whose yard they hang over so enticingly. It looks like the same tree is bearing two kinds of apple – I wonder who spliced them together so many years ago? The crab apples on my side made the most delightful applesauce last year, but I can’t wait to get my hands on those eating apples, so tantalisingly on the wrong side of the fence.
The rhubarb bush my husband planted when we bought this house almost twenty years ago will pop up quite early, once the ground is thawed. For years I didn’t know what to do with those big leaves, but now I have learned the joys of stewed rhubarb with ginger, preferably with home-made vanilla ice cream. Mmmm.
The raspberry canes behind my deck are just poking up through the snow, all dry and withered. Once the snow is gone, we will cut them back so the young growth can spring up. I rarely get to make anything with those raspberries, because they disappear into our mouths as we walk up the back steps. Maybe I’ll snag a few to put in my rhubarb stew.
A certain candidate for sharing the stew pot with my rhubarb is the fruit of my strawberry patch – at least, if the bunnies don’t get my strawberries first. I’m afraid I’m going to have to bite the bullet and put wire netting around my strawberries. I don’t mind sharing a little of my garden’s bounty, but it is getting a little ridiculous.
Another plant I am looking forward to seeing in my garden is one that most gardeners probably dread – the humble dandelion. The greens are very good for you, a little bitter but excellent mixed with kale or other dark greens in a stirfry or quiche. I’ve been buying them over the winter, but I can’t wait to pick my own, fresh into the pan.
I’m sure you have all sorts of wonderful things in your backyard, that you may have been neglecting because you don’t know what to do with them, or it’s too much trouble to harvest them. Don’t let summer’s bounty go to waste! Contact Fruit Share and have their wonderful volunteers come and relieve you of your dilemma.