Tag Archives: Orchard

So these are prunes

From the first crop from our Prune D'Agen tree

As a kid I was made to eat them. As I got older I gradually started to love them. But the notion that a prune is actually a dried plum has never quite clicked in my head. So when we planted our Prune D’Agen tree five years ago in our orchard paddock alongside various other plums, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. It didn’t fruit at all during last year’s summer from hell, so when we noticed bucketloads maturing on the tree about two months ago, we realised we were going to have some questions answered.

Two weeks ago, the fruit were ripe enough to eat straight off the tree, but they tasted like that of any other other plum, albeit a bit sharper. Then we noticed one caught in the net (not the internet) and one mouthful of this confirmed just how sugary they are when fully ripe.

Fruit on Prune D'Agen tree

This weekend we picked the lot of them – not quite bucketfuls, but two baskets worth (the birds did well to get the rest), and they’ve been in the drying machine ever since, where they are starting to look like – well, prunes. Yet however delicious these turn out to be, I reckon that the ripe but undried version of the prune – which originally comes from the south of France – is pretty special in itself. And so do Moose and Elka, who seem to have managed to eat quite a few of them whole that had landed in the grass before we picked them. Prunes might be good for dogs, but I can already assure you that there are repercussions.

Moose before the prune effect kicks in

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2009 – Just Peachy So Far

An Anzac peach resting before lunch

An Anzac peach resting before lunch

 

 There are two peach trees in our orchard at Icy Creek: the first planted was a Taylor Queen, and we got a good crop of sweet fruit from it at the end of last summer. This year, however, it’s our Anzac  Peach (yes, it’s a local cultivar) that has taken the lead, providing large bunches of beautifully coloured fruit, the first of which passed its taste and juice tests yesterday. I worry that I’ll damage the tree with the net I’ve put over their still rather delicate branches. But the birds have already had their fill of so much of the orchard offerings this summer, so I’ll do anything to stop them from getting their sticky beaks on these.

Birdproof we hope!

Birdproof we hope!