Apricot Day

I really should be writing a post about our inspiring visit to CERES and a Backyard Urban Food Forest over the weekend.

Instead – some of the action inspired by yesterday.

I pruned the oldest Moorpark Apricot. This tree was planted in 1998. In the past it has lost a massive branch, and several years ago we planted a replacement for it. It is still going strong and has a great shape overall. Some years we find it difficult to keep up with picking the fruit there is so much; summer before last we didn’t get a single apricot off it thanks to freakish weather at pollination time. This last summer we lost a lot to brown rot because of too much rain, and there not being enough air circulation around the fruit. Next year? Who knows.

So I have opened up the tree a bit for better air circulation, reduced height in some key areas where strong verticals were getting over excited. There was also an embarassing number of mummifed fruit still on some branches out of reach. Those branches were cut off, and rubbish put in the bin. The healthy branches are piled near the rabbit palace for processing by our willing workers. Apparently they do prefer pear trimmings though. Dutchy and Nutmeg carefully extracted the few pear trimmings from the pile and munched through those first.

Milly helping with Apricot pruning

Milly helping with Apricot pruning

Milly helped by clambering through the tree, walking on branches 1cm thick. Just after I took this photo I bent down to pick up the secateurs and she fell to the ground, via the back of my head. The crazy cat just got up and back into the tree like nothing had happened.

Rhubarb! Rhubarb!

Rhubarb! Rhubarb!

To do this pruning, I had to pick some rhubarb so I didn’t trample it. It seems to love growing in that spot under the tree. About 4 kilos harvested. One kilo is macerating overnight with strawberries and sugarĀ  for jam, another batch is cooling after being baked in the oven. Four bags of chopped rhubarb are in the freezer for thinking about later. Upside-down rhubarb cake anyone? Rhubarb on porridge?

For dessert tonight – simple stewed apricots out of a jar. Apricot Day from start to end.

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