Cherry Plum Picking

Saturday morning I bought a fruit picker; eight foot pole, wire basket, six fingers, foamy fruit cushion. I carried it to the car as if it were the Olympic torch.

And that's not the best part. I found the picker in the dusty corner of an independent hardware store on the main street of a one road town. I swear the lights surged when I pulled it from the box. It will likely grant me three wishes if I whisper its bar code under a star lit laden tree of figs.

This was a hardware store with wooden floors that creaked with girls working the counter. I was so drawn in with the place I don't know what the price of my new favorite tool was. Probably not enough considering the magic of finding it there though.

I've toyed with the fruit picker once to glean cherry plums from the neighbors yard. Cherry plums that plummeted me in the face repeatedly. And I can't wait to do it again.

My neck hurt from craning and swinging the eight foot pole in the air, plums ricocheting off my nose and each time I laughed harder. "This is ridiculous," I thought.

I foraged until there was an over flowing bowl and retrieved the powdery new fruit I'd knocked to the ground too.

For years these plums have rotted on the walkway, been kicked into the bark, tracked into the entry way. This year I consumed them until my stomach ached. I ate so many I ate my plan to make Kendra's jam too.

The cute guy has sourced the next tree. The owners are enthusiastic but I'm a bit concerned. It's an apple tree and I'm not sure my nose can take it. Not that I can be stopped at this point. I've got the fallen fruit spell.

Thanks Chile for recommending the fruit picker and Christina for telling me about fallenfruit.org. They've got a good idea.

14 comments:

el said...

I love my fruit picker! I put it in my car, with a box or bucket, and forage. Pears are my favorite find, in a used-car lot in town. I'm glad you bought it, K!

Chile said...

Woohoo! I'm so glad you found one. With practice, you'll learn what angles you need to make sure the fruit falls into the basket. Keep the basket under the fruit, not at too much of an angle. Yes, this means you may have to work your way inside the middle of a dense tree! Always keep the prongs away from you, too, so the fruit slides into the basket.

Oh, and the best tip I can share from my earliest picker use in an old orchard planted by settlers in the late 1800s? Pick fast before the black bears come for the tasty apples!

Bobbi said...

I also love my fruit picker - it always comes in handy! Like El, I use my mainly for pears.

Green Bean said...

How wonderful!

Oh, I've got to check that website out! Last fall, I posted on my mothers' club looking for people who had apples trees they didn't want the apples from. I found many - one in particular with the best tasting, most beautiful apples on an ancient tree in someone's hillside backyard. I couldnt' get all the apples though. She told me to come pick it clean this year and clearly I will need a fruit picker for that one. We enjoyed the resulting dried apples and apple butter all year long.

Audrey said...

What a great story about finding your picker, and the fruit raining down on you. I can just taste those plums! No surprise there weren't any left over.

Donna said...

You lucky bum! We just discovered cherry plums last summer and Andrew LOVES them, but they're pretty expensive at the farmers' market.

kendra said...

Oh, I think I know just the hardware store you are talking about, in Fairfax right? That's a great place. I hope you get a chance to make jam with them, I currently am trying to make fruit leather out of them. We'll see how it goes!

kale for sale said...

el - The used car lot definately adds to the story of your pears. Great find.

chile - LOL. Thank goodness I don't have to worry about bears. And thanks for the tips.

bobbi - Between you and EL I've got my eyes open for a pear tree.

green bean - If we lived a little closer I would share my fruit picker with you. Thanks for the apple butter idea.

audrey - They were pellets, cats and dogs. I'm talking dangerous. But delicious.

donna - You need a tree of cherry plums. It seems like they are quick growers. At least in our area. I understand why they are expensive though, those buggers take some time to pick.

kendra - The description does fit the Fairfax hardware store, doesn't it. I was actually at the one in Pt. Reyes though. My first time in there. Each of these stores are the anti Home Depot, which is so refreshing.

Lcubed said...

Always enjoy reading your blog. This one made me wish I'd been along for the hardware store discovery... made me nostalgic for a certain taco truck/mirage on a blazing hot day in the central valley. :>)
Love you, KFS.
L Cubed

Melissa said...

wow, thanks for the link to the fallen fruit website. that is so cool!

kale for sale said...

lcubed - You would love this hardware store. And there's a chinese food truck near it that may use local produce I want to check out. No mirage. We're due for an adventure.
xoxoxo

melissa - The website inspired me too. Something about the video link at the site with people peacefully taking to the streets eating loquats and oranges that made me feel good.

Lucy said...

Must get the neighbours oranges down - I want me a fruit-picker, too! It's outrageous to grow fruit and not use the stuff.

kale for sale said...

lucy - A fruit picker would be perfect for oranges. It's a little rough on small plums.

jennconspiracy said...

OMG - how much did it cost? Which dusty hardware store? Was there another?