Monday, July 25, 2016

Monday Musings

After we returned from France and Spain in May, we purchased four olive trees to plant at home.  We intend to keep them smallish, in large pots, and nicely sculpted.  The olives we had in Europe were so danged delicious, we just have to give this a shot.  I've been reading up on curing the fruit, which is harvested in October.  In brine curing, which is the way I want to go (no lye for me, thank you), it's pretty simple but it takes time.  Olives jarred in October will be ready to eat in May or June.  Our very small trees have olives all over them.

Mission olives originated in the United States.  There are many olive trees in our town, with a fairly large stretch of them just down the road, bordering the university.  I never thought to forage these, but here's a good post suggesting it.  I have no idea what kind of yield our small trees will have, and it can vary year to year.  So, I might be sneaking around to some of the trees planted in public.
The small Brown Turkey fig we planted last year yielded 3 small fruit.  They didn't even ripe up enough for eating.  This year, however, we have quite a few.  They can be harvested in September, and I'm looking forward to figs and cream, figs and brie, and just plain old warm ripe figs straight off the tree.  My mother used to make a fine fig jam, back in the day.

The dwarf apple, with 6 varieties, is also growing in a large wine barrel.  We do this because our soil is terrible and fraught with tree roots, but also to keep the dogs from chewing on them.  No fruit as of yet, so we'll see.  We had a very small harvest last year, and didn't get around to eating more than a couple.  Fingers crossed for this year.

Lastly, I want to tell you about a great effort by a local family.  They farm zinnias, and many many of them.  They farm them so folks will come a pick them FOR FREE.  You can read more about here.  The deal is, if you pick a bunch for yourself, pick another bunch to give to folks who are living in nursing homes, or are in hospitals or hospice.  We're going to drive up there soon, early in the day (it was 108 degrees yesterday), to harvest some.  I love zinnias, they last a long time, and what a fabulous idea to spread the joy of fresh flowers to those who are confined.  

LIFE IS GOOD.  Believe it.  Make it so.


  1. Neat idea on the zinnias. You are fortunate you can have olive trees there. In '84, Tucson outlawed them and only allows the ones that look like an olive tree but produce no olives. I was quite surprised as there are old olive trees around and I naturally assumed we could have one-- more practical than our grapefruit tree that has to be sprayed or it's wormy. It turned out it was their pollen. So those with legacy trees got to keep them otherwise... pffft

  2. I love knowing that you have olive trees! What a wonderful thing to try. Our neighbor has a whole row of fig trees along the backyard fence. They produce fruit, but hardly ever ripen here. The zinnia farm sounds so wonderful in every way. Ah, the world can be so beautiful.

  3. Olives and apples and zinnias - oh my. Let's go play at the zinnia farm when we come up next.

  4. You are really making the most of your lot. Amazing. And what a treat to hear about the zinnias. So nice to do such things for others. We need more of that.