Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Wild Plums

A few years ago I noticed a small tree in the front yard that was not something I had planted. I let it keep growing and before too long I realized it was a wild plum. It bore fruit, new trees came up from the fallen fruit, and now the area next to the driveway has turned into a little thicket of wild plum trees. This spring's mild temperatures and heavy rain have resulted in a HUGE crop of plums--okay, well, huge relative to the size of the "grove" of trees. The neighbors drive by slowly when I am picking fruit. It's already been established that they think I'm, ummm, different, but I'm willing to bet that they haven't a clue about what I'm doing out there. I don't think there are any other people in the 'hood canning anything.

I've picked about 20 pounds (about 1/4 of them are pictured here in the beautiful orange colander that Micki gave me) and there are still at least that many more still on the trees. Lots of fruit has fallen, too, and when I am picking I can smell the fermenting fruit on the ground. This week I've made 14 pints of wild plum jam. Yum! Unfortunately, the plums are tiny and each one yields only a couple of teaspoons of fruit, so it takes a lot of slicing to prepare enough fruit for the jam. Oh, my wrists and shoulders! But this winter we'll be happy when we are still eating homemade jam.