Sunday, June 14, 2009
It is really difficult for me to buy cherries at the store. They never taste as good as the ones from my backyard orchard. However, some years we don't get very many cherries - could be bad weather, or not enough bees, or too many birds, or...who knows? The first year I lived in this house (summer 1980) we picked over 100 pounds of cherries! For many years I canned quarts of cherries every summer, and we had all we could eat while they were ripe. The last few years the harvests have been pretty meager - enough to munch on, a handful at a time, but not enough for big canning or drying projects.
I wonder who planted my cherry trees? There is one Black Lambert, but I almost never get any of those cherries. They come on first, so the birds go crazy for them. They aren't as sweet, so I don't mind sharing. There are four Royal Anne trees, and those cherries are the best. They are a pinkish-yellowish color, and so sweet and delicious. I picked a handful of them to eat this evening, and there are many more that will ripen in the next couple of weeks. I don't know why the birds don't seem to bother them next. Then there is the pie cherry tree. It's always loaded with cherries, tart and ready to be baked and sweetened into pies and crisps and cobblers.
The pie cherry tree is relatively young, a volunteer since I moved here 30 years ago. But the other trees are all very old and well established. They may have been planted soon after the house was built in 1909, but I don't know if they are really 100 years old. Someone planted them and tended them, and I am the lucky recipient, these many years later, of the sweet, delicious, fresh fruit.