Today’s installment is inspired by the end of summer…..and end of fall….and end of winter. This is something that we all see, and maybe you even have been guilty of (we have!)…..you have a fruit tree or two or maybe several in your yard. Maybe you planted it thinking that it would be nice to be able to make your own lemonade (so you planted a lemon tree) or you love peach pie so you planted a peach tree. Within a few years, it has reached full production and you have fruit coming out of your ears and you aren’t quite sure what to do with it! The fruit sits on the tree and rots and falls to the ground for the flies, ants and birds. Been there done that! However, that fruit is money! Not just for your family but for friends, family, neighbors, church and work friends, etc. If you have much more fruit than you can possibly handle PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not let it become ant food! There is SOMEONE that would be beyond blessed to come and pick the bounty of your harvest.
So, after you’ve frozen all of the lemon juice in dixie cups and lemon zest in little packets of plastic wrap, and you’ve made and canned all of the peach preserves and frozen all of the peach slices that you can possibly use in a year your tree is still loaded! Pick a few more and take to neighbors, friends, the office, church, etc and tell the recipients that if they’d like more they can come pick them. (Or send your teenagers into the tree to pick for you :)) Others will be blessed by that fruit!
ON the other side of this coin, if you don’t have fruit trees of any sort or not of the varieties that you can preserve or that you eat a lot of or whatever, don’t be afraid to ask friends, relatives, neighbors, heck the stranger that lives down the street that has an orange tree that loses all of it’s fruit to the ground every year and you see the boxes and boxes and boxes of oranges/persimmons/plums/apricots/etc go to waste year after year after year…..knock on some doors and ask! I have done it and while it’s not easy the first time, they are so frustrated by the loss of fruit and overwhelmed by the sheer volume of fruit that most people are THRILLED to have someone that can use it! This summer I have gone to a friend’s cousins house to pick apricots and plums, I have gotten plums and apricots from another friend, peaches, nectarines asian pears and lemons and oranges from another friend and nectarines from another, and a bucket full of apples from a friend’s brothers tree…..this is all fruit that they were so thankful that didn’t go to waste! And it has all be eaten, frozen, canned, and dehydrated for our family for these coming months and this coming year.
I would estimate that I have gotten $200-300 worth of free fruit this year from friends and family members of friends simply because I asked, and because they are so thankful that it won’t go to waste!