The Pears

You might remember that across Europe spring threatened to come a lot earlier this year, resulting in unusually for December-January high temperatures. That made us start pruning the vines on Boxing Day instead of February as everyone feared buds coming out on unpruned vines.

Looks like vines didn’t get affected by warm winter much. Can’t be said the same about other fruit trees.

For starters, this year’s crop of plums and peaches is close to non-existent, evidently across the region. They started flowering very early, and due to lack of bees and further frost, no fruit developed. We have no peaches at all, no plums on some trees, and about 20% of last year’s crop on our largest yellow plum-tree, which gave me jars and jars of jam last year. We’ll just eat what’s there but it’s not enough for jam. Plums are also very late this year, by something like six weeks.

Strange weather affected cherries too. We had a few old trees in the garden, but also planted quite a few new cherry trees two years ago as Steve and I adore them. So we were really looking forward to having our own cherries but alas, either there weren’t much or the birds got there before us (note to myself: buy netting next year!).

New fruit tree orchard
New fruit tree orchard at the bottom of the garden

Out of all the fruit trees we have (over 20 altogether), the most successful this year is undoubtedly an old pear tree. Thank God we like pears! When we bought the property almost three years ago, the garden was in such neglected state: some fruit trees overgrown, some close to death. We had to hard-prune some, to chop down the others. The old pear tree had undergone hard pruning, and last year we had very few but very tasty pears. However, this year the tree is full of fruit.

Pear tree 2016

I scouted the net about usage of pears, and already made some pear and cucumber juice (it was terrible), we ate some and I plan to make a pear tart. The only problem is that we are debating which type of tart to have: husband likes traditional British apple-pie kind of tart and I prefer yogurt based mixed with lots of fruit one. I guess it’s to do with where you grew up. I’m not British-born, and although brought on Nordic food of smoked salmon and fermented cucumbers, the Mediterranean cuisine of olive oil, tomatoes and seafood suits me fine thank you very much. Not so simple with my husband. It took me years to get him enjoy salad, try various fish and appreciate good olive oil. But you can’t get the apple pie out of a Brit.

So I suggested that first I’ll make HIS tart, and then I make MINE. And guaranteed we’ll end up each eating our own. Much like I eat most of fermented cucumbers myself now. Even I am fed up with them…

I will let you know how pear tarts turn up. I don’t do baking often, mostly because you have to eat it. And who needs extra pounds on the hips??

Back to fruit trees, there are some apples… and that’s it. Two young fig trees have small fruit on them, but because they are so late, don’t think it’ll be time for them to ripen or even grow big. Maybe next year.

Fig tree with young fruit
You can just about see small figs
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