In our case, the saying has to be reversed – from nuts to fruit.
We have a few fruit trees in the backyard, and this year the apple trees are loaded. Branches are hanging low to the ground, easy pickings for us and even easier for the dogs. You’d think I didn’t feed them.
In previous years, Ruby used to pick up the hazelnuts that fell. I could clean up under the nut trees, but every time the wind blew, the problem (in the shape of a springer spaniel) reappeared. She cracked the nuts with her teeth and ate the inside, sometimes with bits of shell still on them. I was constantly chasing her away from the nut trees and trying to get the nuts picked up before she got them. Not only was she swallowing sharp bits of shell, but she was cracking her teeth.
When we got Emma, our English field cocker spaniel, Ruby taught her all her bad habits. That’s when we decided to cut the nut trees down. We had two more big nut trees in the front yard (enough for us) so we thought this would solve the problem.
But now without the nut trees in the backyard, Ruby has been harvesting apples and teaching Emma to do the same. I figure an apple a day for two months, times two dogs, equals about 120 apples. Why do I even bother to water the trees? Sometimes, I’d rather turn the hose on the dogs.
Everything seems to happen at once. We’re overloaded with fruit and nuts and then it’s over and there’s nothing – unless I dry or freeze some of it.
I thought I would show you about a third of the hazelnuts and filberts I’ve picked up and de-husked this fall, so you can see why I’m late getting anything posted on my blog lately. One problem is finding the space to dry the nuts. I used to put them on window screens balanced on my clothes drying rack and the contraption would stand in front of the woodstove downstairs until the nuts were dry. Since we have a lively puppy in our house, that option doesn’t sound so wise anymore. One bounce too many and there would be nuts all over the place, including the nuts who had to pick them up. You would have to be nuts to take a risk like that with a rambunctious puppy in the house.
So I’ve usurped the dining room table and any other surface I can find. Sorry, dear, no cookies. The cookie sheets are all in use.
The plums, apples, and pears are not there to dry, but only for showing off what is taking up the rest of my spare time. Washing and pitting plums, peeling and cutting pears and apples, and bagging everything in ziplocs for making cakes, muffins, and desserts later on.
Below is a photo of my favourite fruit of the whole yard, a red anjou pear. Mouthwateringly sweet and juicy!
What a shame that with fruit it’s always a case of all or nothing. I’d love to be able to pick a pear off the tree at all different times of the year.
You know that fall is coming when the Steller’s jays show up to squabble over the hazelnuts dropping from the trees. These brightly coloured birds are a relative of the crow, which everyone in bloggerville knows I hate because they abduct and eat the children of other birds. But at this time of year the jays are only here to rob me of the fruits of my labours, so I tolerate their coarse squawking call and focus on their brilliant blue colouring. They do have a reputation of being nest robbers too, but they don’t show up in our area during that spring nesting time.
These sunflower seeds and hazelnuts have me drooling.
Look out! Danger up above.
Don’t even try that trick on me. You just want that hazelnut for yourself.
Well, it’s about time I got some of the good stuff. You’re so greedy all the time.
Go ahead then. Be that way. I’ll take the leftovers, as usual.