Tuesday, 14 September 2010

September apples


There must be an explanation
scientific, or otherwise,
for why the apple tree
gnarled and bent and elderly
brings forth an edible harvest
every other year only,
and sometimes one in three.

Do some living things
keep their own schedule
for resting and renewal?
Or does the fruit depend
on some other equation:
like January frost
plus April showers
when June is hot and dry.

Last year's apples weren't worth picking
but this fall there's a bumper crop.
Every branch is weighed down so
even when the birds claim their share
there is more than enough fruit
to fill every jar I own
with sweet September applesauce.

30 comments:

Dragonfly said...

The mysterious ways of Mother Nature.
They look delicious!

rachel said...

I remember someone asking on Gardener's Question Time why their plum tree hadn't produced a single fruit one year, after 20 years of prolific fruiting, and was told rather drily that it was having a rest......

steven said...

bee it's things like this that edge into the magical. we have a black cherry tree that after ten years has flowered, produced fruit for the past two years. why? like the apple tree i couldn't tell you what changed. steven

Poshyarns said...

It is curious yes, I am having a bumper year too and yet I felt sure the harsh winter and late frosts would prove otherwise. Perhaps nature just wants to keep us on our toes and all the more appreciative.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

yes, life and nature is so mysterious!

these musings make me wonder if a bumper crop of apples is associated with any future weather phenomena. they say (altho i don't know if it is supported) that if there's a lot of acorns on oak trees that is a sign of a harsh winter to come.

well, regardless of what it all means as long as the apples you pick this year are tasty, that's what counts!

the apple tree next door to me is still laden with apples even though the ground already covered with windfalls - should go gather some up and make some applesauce!

enjoy!!

willow said...

What a lovely poem! I've got a half peck here that are just begging for a pie crust.

Lisa said...

What bounty! Fruit and words.

Star said...

They look like Discoveries or something similar. I know how good they taste, just delicious.
Autumn is my most favourite season.
Blessings, Star

ArtSparker said...

There is something very reassuring about that. In a way, weirdly inspiring.

Alyson (New England Living) said...

I wrote about apple picking just last week! I find your take on nature and the way you describe the apple tree very fascinating. The elderly bit is spot on. I never looked at it that way before. Enjoy your bumper crop!

elizabeth said...

I think you just have to be grateful and not enquire further!A lovely meditation on fruitfulness.
Need to go up to the greenmarket tomorrow to indulge in an orgy of swooning over fruit.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Pies!

Marion Williams-Bennett said...

I think that is the most amazing thing about being part of nature - seeing how one year varies from the other, how all the elements mix together and change things.

That, and the applesauce!

This made me so excited for autumn!

Tracy Golightly-Garcia said...

Nice picture! Send some applesauce and jelly my way-:)

Best
Tracy:)

Kristen In London said...

Applesauce recipes... do you use any juices in yours? Back in America, I would splash in a bit of cider, but here? A bit of apple juice perhaps, "cloudy" as they say? Lovely poem.

Bee said...

Applesauce recipe:

10 cups sliced apples
1 cup water
juice of one lemon
1/2 cup of vanilla sugar

Bring to a boil, and then turn down to low heat and cook in a covered pan until the apples can be mashed easily with a potato masher. I add the sugar after the apples have cooked down, and maybe a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon as well. If you put it into sterilized jars it will last for weeks.

I also use the apples for crumbles/pies . . . but they aren't very good for eating, and really, they are best for applesauce.

Kristen In London said...

Thank you!

Sarah Laurence said...

Lovely photo and poetry! I’m impressed. Did you notice that the last paragraph looks like a fruit bowl?

Nancy said...

I wonder...

Polly said...

I'm very impressed by this poem, Bee :)

the apples look delicious - and real - like those that I would pick in my Mum's garden, very unlike the ones I pick up at Sainsburys'

thank you for your comments on my blog, have a great time in Berlin and hope to see you in London someday!

kath said...

Fickle Fruit .... today I wrote about 27 kinds of jam, all of them have apple in them. I loved your words.

A Modern Mother said...

It was the warm Spring going into early summer that did it. We have fab pears this year.

Emm said...

Oh! I never knew that about apples! I know that the apple tree in our garden didn't seem to produce apples but I was at the age when the summer holidays felt like an era and a school term felt like a decade so perhaps they were indeed producing apples once every few years?

Christina said...

oh the tree is being SO good to you, this season. : )
xo

elizabethm said...

Some trees crop biennally, particularly the older varieties. All our old trees are bowed down this year, some so much so that the branches are bent right to the ground with the apples at the tip actually lying on grass while still on the tree. We have had no plums at all though and last year we were wading in plum jam. Good to be reminded of how things grow and where they come from. Lovely post.

Meri said...

I think there is a schedule for resting and renewal that's sometimes predictable and sometimes mysterious. We operate on 24 hour cycles; trees think longer term.

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

Lovely apples, Bee! My gardener said that it was the heavy August rains that made for our successful pear crop this year. I'm glad all that wet was good for something :-)

Kelly H-Y said...

Make my mouth water. I love this time of year ... Honeycrisps are my absolute favorite!

Stacy Nyikos said...

My mouth is watering. I don't know why, but fruit grown in Europe tastes so much better than what we get in Oklahoma. Enjoy!

Relyn said...

Oh, I do love September. Autumn in generally, actually. I'm so glad you are playing along with the swap. It'll be such fun.