Sunday, May 29, 2011

Fruit o' Plenty

A couple of months ago, I posted photos of the fruit trees in our neighborhood. They were in full bloom, and the worker bees were buzzzzy pollinating each flower. The first trees I showed you were almond trees, just about a mile from our home. While we do live in the almond capital of the world, we have another sense of appreciation for these nuts. As dairy farmers, we utilize a large amount of by-product from the almond industry on our farm, by incorporating almond hulls in our feed rations and using almond shell as bedding in our maternity pens.
 When we drive by the orchards now, there are no more flowers to be seen, only little, light green, fuzzy things hanging from the branches.
There is still some time until the almond harvest, when the farmers shake the trees and let the nuts fall to the ground, before sweeping them up. The nuts inside these fruit are still small, green and soft.

The next trees I showed were the cherry trees, that are in the orchard just across the road from the almond orchard! Cherry blossoms are amazing to see and the trees at harvest time are breathtaking! When I stopped to take these pictures, the farmers were busy getting the equipment set out for the orchard workers to begin a day of harvesting.
The orchard tractors and carts were lined up between the rows...  

And the trees were Bulging with bright colored cherries, just waiting to be plucked from the branches!

Maybe it's their vivid color... 
Maybe it's the yellows, oranges, reds and deeper reds against the green leaves... 

or Maybe it's just the simple thought of cherry juice dripping from my chin, running down my arm and staining my shirt that puts this smile on my face! Oh, are they delicious!

No... I did not stop and pick a basket full... I managed to resist, if even only because I'd have been caught red handed by an orchard worker! 

Seeing these baskets lined up down the rows is a true testament to the hand labor that goes into the American food supply. These beautiful fruits are plucked, by hand, from their branches and delivered delicately to the little baskets that you and I will purchase in stores and at roadside stands. I can't wait to get ours! Bring 'em on!

What's growin' on in your neighborhood?


From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

How lucky you are to live so close to these wonderful orchards. Here in New England our harvesting hasn't happened yet. Summer is our best growing season for fruits and vegetables.

Lana said...

Funny, but I love cherries off the tree, but I strongly dislike ( my mom would still be so proud of me for not using the H-word) them as a flavor. Must be all that cherry flavored medicine I had to take growing up! You are so lucky to be so close to such wonderful produce!

Sarah said...

I googled almond capitol of the world and found Sacramento and/or Chico! I live near Sacramento and am pretty sure it is not - the majority of the farm land here is rice. There are many fruit and nut trees but the nut trees are usually walnuts. So, that means you live in Chico? I was just there selling my sister's beef and pork at the farmer's market!

My neighbor has a cherry tree and it takes a lot for me to not climb the fence and pick a basket full of cherries!!

Sarah from The House That Ag Built