Monday, August 24, 2009

Suddenly protective

Here is the apple tree that sits in our backyard.

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Year after year, it produces these tiny, ugly apples.

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When asking a landscape guy about cutting down our overgrown rose of Sharon & tired, mangy evergreen, he said, "Oh, and you know that apple tree in the backyard? It just has wormy apples. I could cut it down for you, too." And suddenly, I was very protective. I told him that he could prune a few branches from the bottom, so it'd be easier to get a lawnmower under it, but that was it. Why was I suddenly protective of the little tree? I mean, I've never harvested a single apple from the tree. We just let them rot & fall to the ground.

Two days later, I happen to be in the backyard, with a bottle of RoundUp in my hand, and I really look at the tree. I see a few apples that look mostly intact. Okay, somewhat intact -- with lots of bumps and black dots. These things are really ugly. And I think, "Someone who was starving would probably be thrilled to take the time to cut up these apples, dig out any icky bits, and eat them. Why are perfectly good apples, within arm's reach, sitting here, destined to rot away?"

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Before I knew it, I had picked three apples. I wasn't even sure they were all that ripe ... just that they let go of the tree fairly easily. I was determined to cut them up and dig out the icky bits, and maybe do something with them. I have to admit, I was pretty sure I'd be grossed out and find worms inside. Well, guess what? I peeled and cut up all 3 apples, and not a single worm was in them. Turns out they are just super ugly. And I would still prefer to cut them all up, just to be sure. They made some very tasty applesauce, though.

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So, I will probably make more use of the apples in the backyard this fall. I may even borrow a friend's ladder to reach the ones that are out of my reach. Because they really are quite tasty. Just goes to show you ... it's worth paying attention to your instincts. And to be properly grateful. Who knows ...I may register the tree on Neighborhood Fruit. And even try to learn a bit about how to make apple trees grow better apples.

7 comments:

Sara said...

You know what? I have an apple tree that had the same kind of apples until a random guy told me to buy the fertilizer sticks that go around the tree in the ground for it. So I went to Home Depot, got a pack of them, followed the directions (I did this in the spring as soon as the ground thawed) and my apples are bigger (about doubled in size) and they aren't gross looking. AND, I've got so many apples my tree is really drooping. They are out of control!

jacquie said...

What a great story! I can't wait to see your apple pies, cobbler, etc, etc. ENJOY!!

Mel said...

Zactly.....these are the ugly apples I thieve from the neighbor. :-)

Chiara said...

oh very cool

scrapperjen said...

I love it - I can't wait to see the scrapbook page for that one. ;)
Hope all is well with you!

Connie Carpenter Macko said...

...not to mention the whole absorb carbon dioxide give off oxygen thingy. enjoy the fruit and good harvest blessings!

flyingstars said...

simply beautifully captured shots...lovely!