Saturday, May 26, 2012

Apricots in Abundance

 Last year, due to winter's longevity, we had ZERO fruit on the one apricot tree. Late spring freezes and snowfall knocked the blossoms off the tree. Such a disappointment. This season, however, the apricots are coming in very well. In a few short weeks, we'll be harvesting the fruit and making, you guessed it, apricot jam. Right now, we are busy thinning the fruit so that the apricots that are left on the tree will grow larger in size. It seems like such a waste. But, in the long run it's a good a thing.

After thinning, we'll net the tree to keep the birds off. Those feathered fiends can clear out a crop in no time at all. Netting is a real pain to put on--and take off. It takes at least two of us. We store the netting on a long pole. With one person holding an end of the pole, we unroll the netting over the top of the tree and then cinch-tie it around the trunk. (We'll try to remember to capture this on film.) This is the best method we come up with so far.

We didn't plant this tree, so I don't know which variety of apricot it is. But, it's a good one. The fruit is excellent for eating fresh and canning. I experimented with drying some of the fruit the season before last, but it didn't turn out so well. If you have tips for drying apricots, I'd love to hear from you.

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