Monday, September 5, 2016

Food and Fruit on a Summer Garden Theme

I might have mentioned it before.....

With a long drought ongoing in the American West, and watering restrictions almost statewide

in California, it has been hard to garden.

I've learned (sometimes the hard way) what CAN grow with little water, and that has surprisingly, 

has included quite a few tropical things.  (Who would've thunk it? - I did not!)  

Loquat trees from my neighbor's garden were so full of fruit that the long branches sunk down over our fence and landed festoons of leaf and fruit into my yard for a couple of weeks until I picked them clean and cut them back.  Mr. P. then made a delicious jam with them (- we had to quick because they don't keep!)  It was perfumey and light, tasting half like apples, half like apricots.  We have many Middle Eastern, Chinese and Phillipino neighbors who've planted or enjoy loquat trees so they are quite common.  Many others don't know what to do with the large seeded fruit and just let the loquats fall and rot.  I am here to tell you officially: Jam is the answer!

It's been a summer of long anticipation for the passion fruit - which we planted almost two years ago.  Mr. P. was certain it would not bear for him.  He was happily wrong - though I felt I had to help the bees pollinate by fluffing the flower pistils and stamen with a long soft paintbrush every couple of days through most of May and June.

A terribly neglected pineapple plant in a pot (Second pic, above) seemed impervious to drought and sent up a perky little orb with lavender flowers bursting off of it in early August.  I watered and fed it last Thursday to keep its spirits up.  We'll see how big it gets - happy as it seems to be.

A non-garden discovery (top pic) that kept my spirits up through a sometimes difficult summer was my new favorite breakfast of:  shredded wheat'n'bran, blueberries (- frozen are prettier, no?) - toasted hazelnuts, chia, and sliced bananas (not shown here).  OH MAN!  So good.


And finally.......the pomegranates have arrived.  I can forgive the raccoons and skunks and possums for marauding about in my yard, when I contemplate all these lovely gifts of nature in my kitchen and on my dining table!  

So all in all, a successful season.  Can't wait to do it all again next year.  

And now the rest of you?  Any fruit bragging you'd like to do?  Before the winter weather arrives?


  1. Yum, yum and yum! That looks like a very successful summer’s gardening, despite the drought conditions. Plants never cease to amaze!
    And on the subject of being amazed – your ceanothus painting (buried in your previous post) is absolutely gorgeous!

  2. I'm so glad you were able to grow things in spite of your drought. XO Living in a very dry place myself, I sure understand. This year has been the opposite for us, unseasonably wet. I've never seen my plants so big and lush. Wishing you rain very soon. XO