Friday, February 27, 2009

Apricot Torture begins

My brother usually waits until June to torture me with pictures of his loaded apricot tree. This year he has started early :) His tree is loaded with blooms, and even better, he says that the humming of bees fills the air. Can't have a bumper crop of apricots without pollination!

I think it bodes well for the bees, too. I'm hoping the bee colonies are recovering from the virus that appeared to be injuring the hives last year.

It is true that last year, there seemed to be a real drop off in the number of bees that we noticed around our places (he's in CA, I'm in WA). And that was reflected in the smallness of his crop. The year before, I made a trip to CA, timed with the harvest, and we canned a couple of dozen quarts. Then we picked I large box of apricots, to take with us on the trip we had planned. Placing the box directly behind the AC jet in his car worked beautifully. We were able to eat almost every one of them (and I'm guessing we started with at least twenty pounds), very few were lost to spoilage. It was heavenly ~

The tree is a very old one that was once part of an orchard that covered the south San Jose hills. We have no idea what variety it is, but we sure would like to take grafts. These are the tastiest apricots imaginable. Once you have eaten them, you'll never go back to the supermarket for those pallid imitations of apricots that you will find there.

We were so lucky to grow up in the area, eating fruit right from the trees.

Photos were taken by my brother, who will no doubt be torturing me with more as the fruit matures.

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