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Favorite seasonal fruits we put-up for our proud fruit tree owners

The Apricot and the Ant!

Apricots!  A delicate fare

Just as we were winding down with the last of the marmalade making, in came a call to come and get some apricots!

I had the great honor today of starting out This One Trees “Private Reserve Preserves” with the seasons first picked apricots at a home just two houses from the home I grew up in!   Ms.  Aimee is my aunt, born and raised on a farm in North Dakota.  She is spry as you please  and has lived in this home for 48 of her 93 years.  She pleaded, “come get the apricots, they’re ready NOW!”    She knew I was canning for other fruit tree owners so she made sure to get on the “Private Reserve Preserves” list at This One Tree!

When apricots are ripe you can’t wait around to harvest them!  They have what I call a short ripe life.  They are extremely susceptible to bruising and they must be attended to A.S.A.P.   In my post “Fruit.i.licious” I explain how harvesting these delicacies are mostly torture and never mind the few bird invasions, it’s the ants that will beat you to the pulp!  Literally!

All that rinsing and still found an ant. A determined soldier!
The Apricot and the Ant!

All that rinsing and still found an ant.  A determined soldier!

This back yard apricot tree is at least 45 years old.  It has a massive craggy and knotty trunk with huge limbs and meandering unkempt branches looking like something one would see illustrated in a witches tale.  It stands as a matriarch to several other fruit trees   ( 3 Meyer lemon and a white grapefruit)  in this yard.  I hadn’t climbed this tree since before my girls were born which was 30 some years ago!  It is not as well maintained as it has been in the past  but this tree is still a big producer.  Picking the apricots is much more labor intensive than “putting them up”, which is what my grandma called canning the goods!  I have fond memories of my grandma and aunt canning the apricots and the aroma of that simmering fruit is still embedded in my mind.  I don’t recall being involved in the canning part of the apricot harvest but I do remember picking and eating freshly picked apricots and grandma’s home made apricot cobbler……YUM!

Fresh Apricots!
Fresh Apricots!

Today I had pick of the best of the apricots.    Just touching some of the branches was cause for a slew of these beauties to release and plummet to the ground below .   After 30 minutes, I had bagged 12 lbs that were perfectly ripe and would yield a few beautiful batches of delectable Apricot jam!

After splitting and pitting and canning 20 pints of jam I still ended up with plenty of freshly halved apricots to put into 3 freezer bags for pies later!

Aimee requested 6 pints of Apricot Jam, plenty to last her till next season!   The rest we have stored in OUR PANTRY ready for you to purchase some!

Yielded 20 pints of jam and filling for 3 pies!
Yielded 20 pints of jam and filling for 3 pies!