fruit collageIt’s the most wonderful time of the year…well, maybe not.

With our unseasonably high humidity and temps in the 90’s, the thought of needing a sweatshirt with a pair of shorts during some crisp autumn air days, nearly makes me giddy. The dog days of summer have come to a close, but the heat hasn’t. So what’s a woman to do?

Fully enjoy some of the fruits of her labor. Now, I won’t lie to you. I talked so much about our family picking blueberries, and enjoying my easy, cheater, one minute fruit cobbler, but we didn’t pick nearly enough. With all the smoothies we’ve been making, they are almost gone and my kids were on the verge of naughty defiance when they boycotted any more blueberry picking.

We are blessed to have a neighbor around the corner (well, a mile or two away, but in the country, that’s a true neighbor) who has mastered fabulous fruit trees and bushes. I want to sit at his feet and glean any wisdom I can from his horticultural geniusness because we tried planting fruit trees and they saw an early death (rest their soul).

Below are my poor pathetic looking blueberry and raspberry bushes. Yes, gardening disarray at its finest. After four years, I have finally started to see some fruit from my hard work, but now reality has set in. In my ignorance, FOUR years ago, I planted them too close to each other. I now need to dig up my blueberry bushes because as the raspberry and blackberry bushes have spread, they are now squelching out the life of my beloved blueberries. That is a difficult life lesson when it’s taken so long for them to finally flourish. I may lose the bushes with the transplant, but it’s a risk I have to take or they all will be gone.

I tell you, farming is HARD work. The thought of living off the land and feeding my family from things I’ve grown is so satisfying, but truth be told, it’s a really good thing there are stores still open or my children would definitely be starving based on their average four blueberries a day portion from my garden.

Yesterday, my friend told me our local Aldi’s had peaches, nectarines and plums for only $0.19/pound. Seriously? I couldn’t even buy my bushes for that small amount of money. So, the first thing on the agenda today is calling to see if that was just a one time mark down special. If it’s not, I’m heading on a fruit trek, and as I travel, I’ll dream about growing them on my own land, but give gratitude where gratitude is due…to farmers who’ve spent their whole lives perfecting this growing art.

garden disarray

Do any of you take advantage of stocking up on seasonal fruit?

I’ve never mastered the traditional art of canning fruits and vegetables, but one of the ways I save additional money is by freezing fruit in ziplocks when it’s on sale and saving them for our winter smoothies and desserts.

What do you do with all your fruit? Share in the comments, and we can learn from each other.

(edited to add: your ideas in the comments are wonderful...thanks for sharing.)

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