Growing up in Ireland, I often found myself wandering the hills above my home in summertime. I never knew what a “water bottle” was, nor did I feel the need to bring a snack. It was all there for me. Provided by Mother Nature. Free.
Mountain springs delivered brain-freezing, crystal-clear water. Dainty wild peas, button mushrooms, hazelnuts, cherries & blackberries. Sorrel, both leaves & flowers, sloes & tiny wild strawberries. And those fraocháin! The wild European bilberry that is like a blueberry, only smaller & more tart. Feasting on those guaranteed you would go home with purple hands, face & teeth. My mouth waters!
Such gustatory memories prompted me to plant trees & shrubs last spring. In the hope of reproducing the joys of eating the fruits, fresh from where they grew. Just like when I was growing up. I planted cherry, pear & plum trees. Along with blueberry shrubs & some herbs. Naturally, the little fruit trees produced nothing that first season. And I only got to eat one blueberry (delicious!) from all the work it took. My basil, sadly, was attacked by some tiny bug that caused all the leaves to wilt & die! It was such a disastrous planting season that I was greatly relieved to see the first green shoots on all the trees & shrubs this spring. My trees had at least survived the winter. Then the blossoms came, a display of nature’s bounty promised. I was getting very optimistic now.
Until this weekend!
All the new growth on my cherry tree is being destroyed by aphids. There are black dots on the many little plums that sprouted on my plum tree. Plum sawfly, I’m told, is the problem. So my plums are shot for this year. While the fruit stems on my pear tree, with the tiniest little pears on them, have all shrivelled up & died too. Nothing left but the blueberries to hope for now.
How is this possible? Everything seemed to provide copious amounts of fruit when I was a kid. And that was in the wild to boot. Now, it seems like I can’t grow anything but weeds in a suburban garden?
So much for eating organic, environmentally friendly food from my own garden. Next year, I’m going to spray & spread every unpronouncable chemical from the garden centre on them. I’d like to see those fruits develop to the point where the crows & racoons will enjoy them. Then I can bitch about the critters next year!
Okay, I really don’t want to do that chemical thing. If you know, please let me know what I should be doing instead.
Still haven’t made it back onto the dietary wagon yet, so I’m happy to have something to moan about!?! 🤪😁