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Blue and Gold

September 19, 2014
Italian prune plum

Italian prune plum

I held the last of summer in my hands today, all blue and golden.

Orchards tie you to the past and keep you in the present day.  I walk this well-worn path through the orchard so many times a day, up to the greenhouses, up to the chickens, up to the hay barn.

A look to the left is the dry garden, I have to glance over the fallen King tree that is now in firewood rounds.  It will give us a little more bounty in one last gasp of productivity.

A look to the right is the main garden where the original homestead prune orchard contained some fifty-four trees I was always told.  Prunes were a big business in our town in the late 1800’s.  It was warm and dry then like it is this summer.

Dog days of September

Dog days of September

Goodness fifty-four prune trees! I can barely manage the nine youngers we have, let alone a planting that large.

The last days are summer are here and almost gone, I am weary of the sun, and yesterday I felt cold, that’s been an unfamiliar feeling for some months now.  It must be fall.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. September 19, 2014 2:35 pm

    I LOVE PRUNES.. how do you dry the plums into prunes?

  2. waldeneffect permalink
    September 19, 2014 2:48 pm

    Your plums always sound so good. Do you have insect problems with them at all, do you spray anything, or do they just come out pristine like that through good genetics and/or climate? (I ask because we battle Oriental fruit flies leaving maggots inside our peaches and brown rot whenever we get the least bit of rain.)

    • September 19, 2014 3:41 pm

      Anna, no sprays, and they are susceptible to bacterial canker, but it’s not a problem, just some occasional pitch on a fruit or several, the fruit is fine. No pests really, and they are self fertile, so if we get the weather in the spring they are loaded, but sometimes it rains at that time so no fruit some years. We have dry, low humidity summers here so that makes all the difference I think.
      Our trees are similar to these, although we purchased them from a local nursery 20 years ago, and we have two seedlings from the original trees, which ripen a week or so earlier.

  3. September 19, 2014 2:53 pm

    this is such a beautiful post.

  4. September 19, 2014 3:20 pm

    Well said! I remember the plum trees on my grandmother’s farm and the smell never fails to take me back. Cheers!

  5. September 19, 2014 4:31 pm

    Oh, man–we planted new plum trees to replace some old ones that died. The waiting is killing me…and you’re not helping.

  6. September 19, 2014 6:13 pm

    That smell in the air of autumn (fall) on its way, it is so familiar. Ours arrived with a vengeance at least a week ago with cooler nights and leaves fast turning brown. Other than that, it is still warm during the day, which is nice. Love the prune plums, must make sure we get some. I think a neighbour of ours has that sort and she has too many to know what to do with. A project for another year though.

  7. September 19, 2014 10:36 pm

    A well worn path, faithful dogs, blue and gold plums, plum cake and autumn. What more could you want.
    :- )

  8. September 20, 2014 2:40 am

    We have had good year for plums too but as yet none have made it to prunes. Every year I plant more trees so one year we will have a surplus! When the plums come I think they are better than anything, even better than the apricots and peaches that take a lot more work to get a crop. The way good bread and cheese is better than cake. I am always amazed at how many plums I can eat! Autumn is in the air here too.

  9. September 20, 2014 5:27 am

    Loved the pics!

  10. Bev permalink
    September 20, 2014 7:11 am

    Planting an orchard is such a joyous thing to do. For yourself and for the coming generations. In the past we picked the bounty from old orchards that friends shared with us. Then we planted our own orchard. We picked standard trees because we were so impressed with how long they can live. That was over 42 years ago. Since then we have moved, but we know we left a legacy to be treasured by others. Your plums look yummy. Thanks for the cake recipe, too. The king apple is a favorites of ours. It seems to be a local favorite of the Pacific Northwest. Love the dog days of summer pic.

  11. bunkie permalink
    September 20, 2014 8:52 am

    We were given two Italian plum/prune trees 20 years ago and they are still producing like crazy! The seeds that lie on the ground tend to germinate real quick too, as we have several babies. I made your Prune Cake in our solar oven yesterday. DELISH!

  12. Chris permalink
    September 21, 2014 9:02 am

    Beautiful post! Beautiful photos! Beautiful prunes! 🙂

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