Saturday, February 12, 2011
Who's to say her nay?
It's also her pruning time. She's knocking back the grapes a bit, and taking down water sprouts from the apple trees. There are now forty fruit trees on the place, but don't let that fool you. Only eight of them are old enough to produce much, if anything. If she has one piece of advice for those who want to get a small country place or start yardening where they are, it's get your fruit and nut trees, your grapes, kiwis, hops and such, and your berry bushes in now. Not seventeen years later, as she's mostly doing. 'K? 'K.
Of the five grown apple trees, three made apples last year, four the year before, two the year before that. The two plums have skipped four years runing, the cherry had a great year two years ago, nothing last year. So you see, forty trees might not be too many, what with the jumbled weather keeping what's left of the bees away from the blossoms, or blossoms freezing off, and so on.
The apples from the three trees, and the grapes from the three grape vines, were enough to keep Risa busy for awhile last fall. She has half a bushel of dried apple slices, twenty-four bottles of grape wine, ten quarts of canned grape juice, lots of canned-up applesauce, and has been going through maybe sixteen quarts of apple juice, the most popular of these items.
The white wine is a little young yet, but today Risa discovered she can mix it half-and-half with apple juice and -- presto-change-o -- Apple cider! This is a discovery for her because she tends to make apple vinegar when she tries for hard cider, and doesn't feel motivated to invest in enough chemistry or fancy bottle brushes and such to give herself more of an edge. She's willing to make her cider on the spot, and who's to say her nay?