The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Forbidden Fruit

Stolen pearsSome of the best fruit I've ever eaten has been stolen.  One fall, I housesat for a friend whose land butted up against an abandoned apple orchard currently being turned into subdivisions.  Those apples were some of the sweetest, tangiest fruits I've ever tasted --- I don't even know what variety they were, but I gathered huge bags full to turn into applesauce.

After we moved into town from our farm when I was in fourth grade, my mother used to take us out hunting abandoned fruit on quiet side streets and alleys.  She scouted carefully and found several trees whose fruit was left to rot on the ground, yellow jackets buzzing ominously between.  Sometimes she rang the door bell and asked for permission.  Sometimes we scurried around and filled plastic grocery bags surreptitiously when no one was home.  This is how we got our June Apples (Early Transparents) --- the type of apple you might envision the gods eating on Mt. Olympus.

Yesterday, I collected some pears --- not quite stealing since the property owner's niece had said I could.  I didn't plan it --- just went walking on the private park to enjoy the autumn colors, then stumbled upon fruit rotting on the ground.  Luckily, my backpack was full of old grocery bags, so I filled them to the brim, stopping only when my backpack refused to zip closed.  Now what will I do with a couple of gallons of delicious, but a bit gritty, country pears?

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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This year I got lots of pears from a friend's tree. We couldn't possibly eat all of them before they rotten, so I canned a bunch. I found a great recipe in the Ball Blue Book for almond pears. They are quite good! Next time, I will decrease the amount of sugar and increase the amount of amaretto!.
Comment by Tracy Sun Oct 25 09:59:20 2009
Thanks for the suggestion! We'll have to give that a shot.
Comment by anna Sun Oct 25 19:08:42 2009
How about a pear pie? It actually tastes a lot like apple pie once it's baked, and the pears will lose their gritty-ness.
Comment by Kris Mon Oct 26 00:29:20 2009
Pear pie sounds tasty! Just don't tell Mark it sounds like an apple pie since he's un-American that way. :-)
Comment by anna Mon Oct 26 19:49:44 2009

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