Brown Rot, Dead Frogs, Ukuleles
No matter what else is going on in the world, the garden just gets on with what it does, and right now, it is doing zucchinis, lemons, potatoes, turnips, kale and, as of this week, apricots. I am trying to be cheerful about the apricots. They are afflicted this year by brown rot, which is the cruellest disease - it waits until the very moment the fruit ripens and then it pounces. Tiny patches of brown rot spread within days until the whole apricot is covered.
The brown rot fungal disease is spread via various means - affected mummified fruit that is left on the tree, a gummy, oozy sap on the tree branches, dropped fruit that is left on the ground, and the weather - rain spreads the fungal spores.
Oh, and also pruning in the winter leaves stone fruit more prone to disease. I didn't prune in the winter, but I am guilty of all the other possible ways of spreading brown rot - I planted a garden under the tree so I can't find dropped fruit, I haven't trimmed off all the branches with the gum on them, and also I didn't attempt to control it by spraying with copper spray during the winter. I probably also caused all the rain, who knows? Perhaps I am a rain god.
Practically the only thing I can do now is to pick all the apricots as fast as I can to prevent the brown rot spreading, even though the apricots are not quite fully ripe. They still stew down to a delicious orange pulp to adorn the breakfast porridge. I am saving all the fruit with just little patches of rot, and cutting it off and into the pot they go. Still, can't leave them too long, as the rot keeps on spreading, so there will be much stewing and drying of apricots over the next few days.
I am trying to concentrate on the joy of having some lovely, lovely apricots, and not dwelling too much on all the ones that got away. And vowing to be a more diligent apricot farmer this year..
In other news I have all, yes all of the gorgeous, gorgeous kiddos here this week. It is two? Three? years since they have all been here together at one time, and it is so good to see them all around the table together, after a long year of uncertainty and teh impossibility of travel between states here in Australia. It is the best thing to see your kids grow up wiser and stronger and smarter than you are. It gives me great optimism for the future. Especially the future where I am completely senile and will rely on them daily to remind me where the keys are and what time I need to pick them up from the airport. Oh, wait, that is not the future..
There has been a poker tournament. The Boy has been lying in the hammock playing the ukulele which renders a summer afternoon very melodic. The Girl's partner, let us call them The Chef, created a divine lamb roast yesterday, which required two hours, very much garlic and a bottle of beer. They are providing much cooking advice and assistance in the kitchen, for which I am very grateful. Today Red is painting The Chef's nails and we are eating chocolate. The grannies came over for lunch yesterday, and my mum being a most amazing granny, brought Red three abandoned bird's nests and three dead, dried frogs. Red declared theses Best. Presents. Ever. For everyone else mum brought chocolate, because there just weren't enough tiny dead frogs for everyone. My mum is always fair.
How is summer going for you? Or winter? Sending much love to friends of this blog who are locked down again in Europe and the UK, or dealing with great uncertainty and covid worry in the US. Stay safe, and keep well all xxx