What is it about backyard fruit trees that makes the fruit taste so good? Part of it is that, “back to the Earth” feeling when you gather your own food. There is no intermediary between you and your sustenance. No farmer, packer, shipper, distributor, no retail store. Just you and the tree.
My neighbor across the street has a couple of apricot trees. Sadly, apricots are one of those fruits that almost always disappoint when you buy them in a store. They’re usually mealy and tasteless due to being harvested before they’re ripe so they’ll endure long travel. Then the commercial apricots are put into cold storage, which murders their taste and texture and they wind up in the produce department, looking lush and rosy but invariably leaving much to be desired.
But the apricots from my neighbor’s tree, now that’s another story. Most years the birds and squirrels get to them before I do, but this year Michael called to me from across the street and said, “They’re ready.”
These apricots are tiny—not much bigger than a kumquat, but they are so delicious. Each one is juicy and flavorful, with a tidy pit that separates easily from the fruit. I always eat them in twos and threes and marvel at how ingenious Nature is to create such a thing. And how grateful I am that at least this year, the local wildlife (and my neighbor, Michael) shared this backyard bounty with me.