harvesting cherry plums



My drupe heavy Cherry Plum tree (Prunus cerasifera) is especially prolific this year. Garnet orbs dangle from the towering branches, teasing the squirrels into little acrobatic daredevils. I impatiently pinch the flesh of each fruit within my reach until one day they are soft-bodied and gently squishy. Plucking the first perfectly ripe plum while balanced on tiptoes, I savor the ultra sweet juice that bursts forth as I bite into that deliciously thin tart skin.

Thankfully this year, no winter storm knocked off the flowers, so the fruit is abundant. All around town, flowering plum and cherry branches lined the streets after a strong storm weighed them down with snow last year. The few plums I did enjoy were snuck from insatiable Starlings. However, many baby trees dot my garden each summer, snow or not, and grow spindly toward the sun with seemingly no effort. I hate to dig them out, but spreading shade from the stately mama seals their fate.

Using an apple picker, I harvested a nice basketful to play with and experiment. Looking forward to cherry plum barbecue sauce or chutney, and a buttery pie.

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