Today was the day! Yep, it was time to harvest the plums from our plum tree. It has been many months since the first flowers began to show on the barren branches that soon became lush with green and finally thick with plums. The plums were so thick again this year, that it was as if grapes were growing on our tree rather than plums.
It took us several hours this afternoon to pick a good portion of our plums.
NOTE: BOTH THE LADDER THAT HUBBY IS ON AND THE ONE I AM ON WERE PICKED FROM THE TRASH FROM NEIGHBORS IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD. THEY STILL WORK!
Even Grace joined in the harvest.
While we picked, we had several grades of plums. There were the keepers:
The rotten ones:
And a whole bunch on the ground that required us to pick every one of them up and put them where they belonged.
For awhile we picked the plums from the branches on the tree, but eventually Hubby decided that some of the branches had to come down, so he cut entire branches laden with fruit and dropped them down to us.
In the end, we picked two full buckets of rotten fruit and nearly 90 pounds of usable fruit.
I have my work cut out for me in the coming days. For now, I spent several hours this evening looking at every plum we picked and putting each into one of three categories: 1. Green 2. Purple but hard or 3. Ripe and ready to use.
Most of the plums fell into the purple but hard category. We learned last year from picking over 200 pounds of fruit from our tree that waiting until the fruit is completely ripe makes for a difficult and overwhelming week of canning. To avoid the race against time to can before the fruit spoils, we picked about 85% of the fruit today before it was completely ripe or rotten. Canning will probably start in a day or two when the purple plums begin to ripen enough for me to start.
Hubby ate at least a pound, took another pound to his parents, I gave about three pounds to a neighbor, and the rest are covered with a tarp on the patio (don’t want the kitchen to become infested with fruit flies). Pie filling, juice, and plum-cranberry sauce are on the list of things to can for the coming week. Lots of work, but lots of food to put in the pantry, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.