Monday, July 6, 2009

Garden Update: Plum trees, Habaneros, and Strawberries

One of our picturesque plum trees.

I neglected to mention that the new house already had 2 plum trees and a strawberry patch (of sorts). The larger plum tree didn't produce many plums at all, but the smaller one produced probably a hundred small (2-3" diameter) purple/red plums, which were delicious. Sadly, it seems to be done growing plums; they all came in about a month. MDT and I only got to eat ten or twenty of the tiny plums, though, since the new place also came with an abundance of squirrels who apparently love plums. I keep seeing them out the kitchen window scurrying up the tree, picking a plum, and running back down with it in its mouth. The plums are easily bigger than the squirrels' heads, but they'll sit right there at the bottom of the tree and eat the whole thing. I know they're pests, but I have a soft spot for squirrels, so I didn't make any effort to deter them. I don't know how I would've done it anyway.

The strawberry patch also gave us quite a lot of small strawberries--about a fourth of the size of store-bought ones, but the bugs got to a lot of them first. We're guessing they're June-bearing plants since they stopped producing fruit right on cue at the end of the month. They may have been small, but anyone who's grown their own strawberries can tell you they taste ten times better than the mass-produced kind.

Our overgrown strawberry patch, deterred only by asphalt.

And finally, the habaneros. Two very large potted habanero plants were given to us soon after we moved and have been producing a ridiculous number of peppers ever since. MDT makes a great hot salsa and a phenomenal pico de gallo, but we can only stand to use one habanero per half gallon of salsa or pico, so we've ended up freezing the vast majority of the peppers. Anyone have any ideas on what to do with them? Please comment below. There's only so much salsa two people can eat.

One of the habanero plants.Super-hot yellow habaneros, on their way to max-hot orange.

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