This post marks my six month anniversary as a blogger. I want to commemorate the milestone by sharing a series of events and blog posts that brought together for me how much my new blogging community has impacted my life in these six short months. About a month ago, I was up to my neck in fresh fruit and vegetables, embarking on more preserving ventures than ever before, and actually feeling a little stressed out about stuff going bad before I got a chance to put it up. It was peak season around here, more produce kept landing in my lap, and I just couldn’t say “no.” Blog posts kept popping up from those who have years of experience and insight, giving me great recipes, inspiration, and urging me to, yes, pick up those peppers and $1.00 a pound to add even more to what I was preserving. Continue reading
My first introduction to canning was in college. My housemate and friend worked at an organic farm on the edge of town. Part of his pay was a full share in the CSA. Every week he brought home not only a box packed full of produce, but often the extras gleaned from the rows that week. And so, we did some canning.
A few years later, I moved back to Los Angeles, far away from farms on the edge of town and seasonal eating, and it was a while before I rolled up my sleeves and put a big pot of water onto boil again.
I pull up to the house where my daughter is taking swim lessons for the summer. It is the first day. One of the first things I notice is a spectacularly large apricot tree in the front yard, and it is loaded with ripening fruit. At the end of that first lesson, I find myself asking her teacher (whom I just met that day) if I can pick fruit when they are ripe. I come back the following week, fruit picker in hand, and pick enough apricots for two batches of jam. I have so many left over, I offer them up to my fellow RIPE members.
Loquats. Some might ask, “What is a loquat?” Before moving into our current house, I would have asked the same. Loquats are small orange/yellow fruit. The house came with a few fruit trees: pineapple guava, lemon, plum, nectarine, apricot, and loquat.
The loquat tree is quite old, judging from its height. Unfortunately, over the course of its life, it was not trimmed as a fruit tree. Our tree towers over the roof of the garage. I can reach the lowest hanging fruit with my fruit picker fully extended.