Thursday, November 3, 2011

Joy of Pruning!

Ten minutes after the posting "Joy of Wire," the muffler fell off our ancient Fiat on the way to Sunday lunch with friends. I walked 10 feet away from the car to search in a freshly plowed field for something to tie it back up with temporarily, and found, I'm not kidding, bailing wire. Ten minutes later, we were on our way to lunch.
But pruning. I've just finished all the fruit trees on the property, about 40 of them, not counting our 92 olive trees. This is the last round. After this, I will no longer be restoring the suffering abandoned trees that had once been covered in blackberry vines and were being winched to the ground by the dreaded vitalba (summer clematis) vine. I will be maintaining them. No more cycles of trees exhausting themselves with pears, plums, peaches, walnuts, cherries and figs, then being fruitless for 2 or 3 years. No more broken branches overladen with too much tiny fruit. No more fear of falling as I harvest from trees that grew too tall and lanky as they struggled to break through the smothering canopy of vines. Now, I can go out with a small saw and a pair of Falco shears in my belt holster and climb into the tree and reach the limbs and fruit without fear of overreaching and blowing a rotator cuff. I do not have to carry a ladder around. The trees look right, now, like grown-up bonsai. All things considered, they will be happier next year than they have been in 20 years. Mission accomplished; the farm has been restored.
Speaking of pruning. These are the last prunes Sally preserved by the age-old and greenest of methods, air drying. Real prunes, from real reclaimed prune trees. Real tasty. In fact, the exclamation point at the end of this sentence doesn't do my reaction to tasting them justice!