December Fuji

At my office last week we received a gift basket from Harry & David that had the most beautiful Fuji apples you’ve ever seen; big, red, shiny, and perfect.  Unfortunately, the beauty was only skin deep, as they had a diesel aroma to them from being in controlled atmosphere storage, and they tasted blandly acid with a chemical aftertaste.  I spit the bite out, as I couldn’t even stand to swallow.

But all is not lost; now that the leaves are starting to fall, I’m able to check our two Fuji (we pronounce it “Foo-hee” as a nod to my in-law’s Mexican heritage) trees for apples we missed during the regular season.  We started picking Fujis in late September, and are still picking them as they hang on the tree forever.  These are the best ones of the season; crisp, juicy, sweet, aromatic.  I like my apples with a little more bite, but these are always a hit at my office and kids can’t get enough of them. 

They are self-fertile and quite reliable here; they take about five years to really start bearing, but once they do they give a boatload every year.  I drive down the street in our neighborhood and see them hanging on neglected trees in back yards and one front yard, where they finally drop on the lawn where my neighbor runs over them with the lawnmower.  This drives me crazy, as I can’t figure out if he doesn’t like them or just can’t pick and give them away fast enough.  I’d stop to offer to pick them, but we have all we can do for the moment slicing up persimmons to dehydrate and cutting roses for table centerpieces (yes, roses bloom wonderfully in December here).

Tom Spellman from Dave Wilson Nursery is stopping by this week to see what there is to eat; it will be fun to show him around and “forage” in my yard.


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