html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: To say nothing of Black Ambers.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

To say nothing of Black Ambers.

My sister and I share the same view of trees, the one we got from our father. Our father taught us that trees that enjoy regular waterings owe something to their keepers, and that something is almost certainly fruit. Some trees can get away with offering nice foliage or scent, but that's cutting it close to the line. You have to justify a decision for anything but a fruit tree. My sister and I are choosing trees for her new place. Please notice that despite my strong views, I am taking a moderate and amiable approach:

Her: reconsidering trees.

okok ok ok ok

i'm thinking pluot.
whatdoyouthink?! c'mon! there's a cut-out where there used to be a tree, next to where your door will be. we could put a tree in there
(please don't mention the roots of the old tree yet, let my blisters heal first)
and it'd shade the chicken scratching area. there's one called the flavor grenade, and it's really you worry about plum droppings outside your door? maybe a small citrus on the edge of the front yard, by the neighbor's garage side?


NO. No pluots. Stone fruit, yes. But we are traditionalists. We hew to the old ways. The proven ways. We are not taken in by some flashy "Flavor Grenade". We want heirloom varieties, that tie us to our food heritage. We reflect on long traditions of yellow nectarines, or blushing apricots when the first buds of spring break. None of your high sugar, low acid mealy apologetic "pluots" for us! This is where authenticity demands that we take a stand. A Bing cherry would also be fine. No Raniers. Raniers are for the weak.

Citrus is cool. I vote for a lemon/lime graft. You don't need a whole lemon or whole lime tree.

I would say apple, but it is so easy to buy good apples, and you would probably want some pansy-ass Gaia something or other.

First, I would like everyone to note that I did not bring up plums. Plums would be the obvious choice for a small stonefruit, but I am taking the yard layout into account. If we were to go with plums, that would necessarily be an Elephant Heart. Gorgeous plum, rich flesh, hard to get at markets. BUT! Elephant Hearts require a pollinator, which is obviously going to be a Santa Rosa. High producer, not quite as sweet as an Elephant Heart, rouge skin to contrast the mottled green and red skin of the Elephant Heart when you arrange them in some shallow hand cast hippie bowl. BUT! If you are going to have an Elephant Heart and a Santa Rosa, then you clearly need a Greengage. So classic! Fully green with a yellow tone and flesh. Beautiful plum; I occasionally read mentions of it in English literature, and I think we can all see why. And here is where it all falls apart. There is not room in my sister's yard for three plum trees. With sorrow in my heart, I bow to the reality of the situation. Because I am so reasonable, I do not bring any of this up to my sister.

Instead, I go looking for grafted lemon and lime trees. I do not find them. But, I find this: Why do they think that would improve lemon tree sales?

We're still debating options. I'll spare you the rest of the conversation. It will probably take weeks to resolve. I'm serious about the pluots, though. They're the living incarnation of everything that is wrong with society today.


Blogger Tom said...

I will direct you to the top of the page: "Welcome to the Nursery."

A delightful visual pun.

5:17 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

Also, be sure to see the berry page, and the shrub page.

5:20 PM  
Anonymous D said...

heh, sounds like an amusing conversation. See if you can rent a stump shredder. it can be used to chip the stump in place leaving nothing but mulch you can use or mix other places. ALSO! wherever you plane, make sure that your utility lines, particularly sewage are nowhere near. Some trees have a terrible affinity towards such lines, taking them in their roots and having a deadly way with them. *AND* er, yes I know you are an engineer without rival, and I know you may well be thinkin: "what, is he imagining I don't know that?" You see, I once saved an EE from electicuting himself replacing a sink disposal... [I know you just did as well...] and it was about that point where I decided that it was better to tell somebody someting they know, than to assume they know something , when they do not...
so please forgive me ;)

5:27 PM  
Blogger a progressive crank said...

There is another ad that shows the same pneumatic person being peered at through palm fronds.

And there are so many more obvious fruits that citrus for this: is it just their failed imaginations?

5:29 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Holy shit, Tom. I clearly did not look around for long enough. Did you see what you get with your palm tree? This might be my favorite catalog ever.

I sent my sister the lemon tree link, and she sent me:

We'll take two!

5:31 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Different model for the palm tree! Lemons and palms are NOTHING alike. I'm completely cracking up over the berry page.

5:32 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

THE GRAPES? Why is that undressed man picking pumpkin size grapes from eight feet tall? Why is the pantless sprite dancing behind the grape bin. It is SO GOOD! Thank you for prompting me to look further, Tom.

5:37 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

I can't stop. Each page is more surreal. What the hell is the orangequat page about? Whose vision directed this catalog?

5:42 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Oh god. I might die. How did this happen? Seriously. How can this possibly be a genuine fruit tree catalog? They're fucking with us, aren't they?

5:47 PM  
Blogger Marcus said...

tree with lots of pretty flowers >> fruit tree. Every time you come home, your heart will leap at seeing the pretty flowers. You will never get the fruits at just the perfect moment of ripeness, and in any case once you do they will be gone. Yet the flowers will always delight you. I have spoken, so it is.

There may be a possible exception here for cherry trees, which are wonderful -- only Bing cherries though, you're right about that!

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Peter said...

Some neighbors of my mother in Florida have grapefruit trees, and they produce absolutely massive quantities of fruit. I believe mango trees also are huge producers, but Sacramento might not be quite warm enough for them.

8:56 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Pluots rock! I eat neither plums nor apricots, but I definitely eat their unholy spawn!

5:09 PM  

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