FREECYCLE FRUIT: I put a call out on Freecycle and made contact with a woman with an apricot tree full of ripe apricots, falling to the ground. I made a quick trip over there and picked up 12# of very large, ripe, gorgeous apricots. She also offered quinces when they ripen in late August, and persimmons in the fall ("the squishy kind," she said). She has a small apple tree, so I'm going to check on that as well.
While I started prepping the apricots for jelly and jam - a neighbor came by, and we had a chat. I gave him a jar of plum jelly and he promised to bring me some Santa Rosa plums, and offered me picking privileges when his fig tree ripens in a month or so.
APRICOT CANNING GOODNESS: Last night, I made up:
1 - half gallon of vodka & 14 apricots for Apricot brandy
3 - 12 oz jars apricot jam
2 - 16 oz jars of apricot jam
5 - 16 oz jars of apricot jelly
This morning I set to simmer a big pot of apricot chutney using about 4# of apricots, and I have about 28 choice apricot halves which I am going to candy tomorrow, and then dip in chocolate. Hopefully my kitty/housesitter won't eat all of them while I am on vacation!
I love Freecycle. I love neighbors and neighborhoods with fruit trees.
GARDEN: This evening, I returned at the same time as a neigbor just to the other side -- offered her some volunteer tomato plants. I gave her the three I dug up and put in water last Thursday, and dug up 3 or 4 more. I apologized that they were volunteers so I couldn't tell her if they were cherry or regular tomatoes and she said, "That's the fun part -- it'll be a surprise!"
The baby basil sprouts are looking great. The catnip isn't looking so great - but I found out why: George. Here, I thought I had over fertilized it or under or over watered. I caught him bent over into the pot, cleaning the last leaves off the thing. He's pretty darned ferocious when it comes to catnip and feathery toys. He could totally kick Dobson's butt, and yet he's so gentle with him and often ends up losing tufts of fur in their wrestling matches.
Time to round up the kitties and bike to Berkeley for dinner with my sweetie. I promise a post on a recent rash of thefts in this neighborhood due to war and recession.