Friday, August 29, 2014


The M/W Homestead

Mike misplaces something about three times a day. Usually it’s just that – misplacement. Sometimes things go missing for quite a while. A case in point was his hard shell gun case. He thought he had stored it on the farm, but when he couldn’t find it, he searched the farmhouse, the town house, and the garage/shop – all to no avail. And this went on for two years.

From the "scab patch" at June's
But the other day was a “red letter day.” Mike was kneeling at the closet under the stairs at the farm when he happened to spy his gun case parked in plain sight against the wall. I won’t quote what he said, but he was surely glad to have found it!

And I had a find of a different sort. You know how I’ve been on a quest to identify trees and shrubs at the farm, especially those that might have edible fruit to tempt son-in-law Nick’s taste buds. As I was walking the dogs the other day, I glanced down the “north draw” and saw orange/red cherry-like fruits on shrubby trees. My first thought was pie cherries (and wouldn’t that be great!), but as I approached, I could see that wasn’t right. “Chokecherries” came to mind as a starting place for research, and I believe that’s what they are.

Chokecherries are evidently ripe when purple. Ours are still red. The pits are poisonous so those have to go, but the juice though tart makes excellent jelly, according to my research source, The Rocky Mountain Berry Book by Bob Krumm.

It begs the question: have I just failed to notice the chokecherries in the past? Or, is it possible that some years they don’t bear, perhaps because of a freeze at the wrong time? Maybe a little of both.

At any rate, I was just excited to discover those chokecherry bush/trees. I don’t know if I’ll be able to experiment with them this year, but at least I know there’s another “homesteader’s” fruit option on the place.
Bess running beside 4-wheeler

Mike and I rode the 4-wheeler over to the old Senter place yesterday to check out the apple tree there and found only a few on the upper branches. No pie from that tree this year.

The "pine-apple" tree
Some apple trees have no fruit this year, and some apple trees are loaded but inaccessible. This past week Mike and I picked apples from the “pine-apple” tree in the lane and I made sauce. Too soon, I think. Perhaps I’ll try again when it’s cooler – if any of the apples remain to be picked.

What about the old pear tree, you ask. It appears to have very little fruit, and that doesn’t break my heart. I prefer to buy pears. KW

1 comment:

Chris said...

So glad he found it!! And why, oh why is it that we can look right at something time and time again and not see it? We've done it, too.