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Archive for the ‘Orchards’ Category

The humble Italian Prune Plum has been on Whidbey Island since the time of the first generation of settlers.  I love them for baking and preserving and they are happening right now.

The humble Italian Prune Plum has probably been on Whidbey Island for over a century. There is nothing better for baking and preserving and they are happening right now.

If I am going to eat a fresh plum, then a Santa Rosa Plum, with its super fragile, water-balloon-like flesh is my hands down favorite.   But when it comes to making jam, jelly or a plum tart, they cannot hold a candle to the much less sexy but ever more versatile Italian Prune Plum.  It just so happens that we have a bumper crop Italian Plums this year in Coupeville.  Here is what you can do with them. (more…)

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The Yellow Transparent variety of apple, which originated in Russia, was introduced to the United States around 1870.  This is a common, old time variety here on Whidbey Island, and right now they are ripe and fallnig on the ground everywhere you look.

The Yellow Transparent variety of apple, which originated in Russia, was introduced to the United States around 1870. This is a common, old time variety here on Whidbey Island, and right now they are ripe and fallnig on the ground everywhere you look.

A friend of mine told me that when he was a kid in the 1940’s he knew the location of every fruit tree within a three mile radius of his house.  For him summer was all about which yard had the best plum tree, with limbs that had grown over the fence, draping into the alley so that he could get at the fruit.  Of course he admits that as a youth he was not at all averse to jumping a fence if he thought he could get at those plums and not get caught.  I appreciate that story because I too grew up with fruit trees, both here on Whidbey Island as well as in Northern California.  I can attest that a ripe apricot, picked right off the tree on a warm early summer day has the potential to change a child’s life forever. (more…)

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