A few weeks ago I ran this photo of the last of the apples harvested from our tree in October of 2008. They were stored all winter in the fridge, in a loosely closed plastic bag. I have been eating them, mostly in plain nonfat yogurt with broken walnuts and a touch of honey, and they are still pretty good. Not quite as sweet as they once were, but it was worth saving them.
I said I would show last year's apples with this year's blossoms if there were any apples left by then, and
by golly, there are! The other day there were 5 apples left, and the tree has been slowly coming into bloom. So there they are, three of the 2008 apples with some of the 2009 blossoms. Apples picked in the time of Bush, shown with blossoms that follow the first 100 days of Obama! With controlled atmosphere, I suppose a commercial apple storage place could do better, but I think we did pretty well.
Most years my tree makes more than we can eat. I store a bunch in the fridge, hand them out to students and friends, and take the rest somewhere that they will be eaten. Last year, we took the extras to the Free Farm Stand. Don't know about it? It's a stand in San Francisco's Mission District where fresh food is given away. They are always looking for fruit trees that need harvesting and will help if you need help getting the fruit picked. (Have you a plum tree that is about to be loaded with fruit? Get in touch with them.) Or if you or someone you know is out of work and in need of more fresh food, drop by. The Free Food Stand is held on Sundays, 1-3, at Harrison and Treat Streets in San Francisco. Read about it at the blog (www.freefarmstand.blogspot.com). It's a really nice scene with friendly people, fresh vegetables, fruit, maybe bread.
So, in a few weeks, there will be little nubs of apples forming on our tree and we will be on our way to the 2009 harvest. Hope there is plenty to store and plenty to share.