|The Wife That is Venus-Bird Back 40|
You heard right -- the drought is over! It's done! Finished! Kaput! Good riddance! Don't let the door hit you in the keester on the way out! Your company was never wanted to begin with! So, get a clue, MaGoo and SCRAM. And If I don't see you next year -- it won't be too soon!
As you might be able to tell, I don't like droughts. As a matter of fact, I kind of detest them.
Friends and frenemies -- I'm not talking about the kind of drought that means a lack of water. We're still in that. Big time. That hasn't ended. It's here. It's going to stick around for the next couple of months. While we can hope and pray for big bucket of rain from the sky next winter season -- that's still a long ways off. There are hot summer days still to come.
|Apricots in May? Yes Please!|
Nope -- the drought I'm referring too -- the drought that has now officially ended -- is the drought on fresh fruit production in the Bird Back 40. It's over. It's gone. It started with a smattering of strawberries from the Albion plants situated beneath the Backyard Orchard Culture (BOC) Apple Orchard, but that wasn't nearly enough to satisfy and satiate our fresh fruit desires. But this latest little treat comes as a big surprise. I wasn't expecting this tree-ripened fruit, this early in the fruit growing season.
The proof of our fresh fruit extravaganza is pictured above right in that dazzling photo of sheer beauty. That is the wife that is Venus -- and she is smiling for good reason. No -- she did not win the lottery. No -- the Pope did not grant special dispensation so she could file for divorce. She's smiling because her favorite tree-ripened fruit ripened a lot earlier than we ever expected.
|Royal Rosa Apricot|
That's the five-in-one Apricot Fruit Cocktail tree to the right of the vision that is Venus. A Dave Wilson Nursery multi-budded special, we stuck this tree in the ground during the 2013 bare root season. We allowed it to produce a little bit of fruit last year -- just a taste mind you. We're allowing it to produce a lot more this year.
Are all the apricots on that tree ripe for the picking? Of course not! That's the beauty behind a five-in-one Fruit Cocktail tree. The five different varieties all ripen at different times of the spring and summer. In fact -- not all of the varieties on that Fruit Cocktail tree are actually apricots. Nope! One branch contains the Aprium.
|Royal Rosa Apricots with Tomcots in the Background|
Exsqueeze me? A what? "Maw! He's using them strange words again!" What in the world is an Aprium? Is it an apricot? Is it a plum? The answer to both questions is, "yes." Mind blowing isn't it? According to our fine friends at DWN, "The Aprium is a is a complex interspecific hybrid, predominantly of apricot and plum. Additionally, the sugar content of interspecifics is much higher than in standard plums or apricots, yielding fruit of incomparable sweetness."
Ain't that just terrible news?
But, I digress, because the fruit from this tree that is bringing us the most joy at the moment happens to be the branch that holds the Royal Rosa Apricot. Although it's not supposed to fully ripen until the third week of May -- the third week of May came a tad bit early this year -- here in the first week. Not all of them are ripe, of course. Some might even make that third week date. But just enough are soft for the picking and at optimum sweetness.
|Young Annie Lennox|
Is the Royal Rosa Apricot good? Is the Pope Catholic? Do tomato plants grow in Sacramento? Did Annie Lennox dump The Tourists? OK -- so it's a little obscure music knowledge on Bill Bird's part. But, the point is the answer to all three questions is a definite "yes." The Royal Rosa, Katy, Blenheim, Tomcot and Flavor Delight Aprium have all found a deserved home in the Bird Back 40.
It's been far too long since Bill or Venus sampled fresh fruit from the Bird Back 40. The drought is over. The onset of fresh fruit season is as right as rain.
If only we could get a little more of it.