Mother Nature is on vacation and the fruit sucks

It’s been an interesting summer season so far. The weather here has been strange. Really, there is not another word for it. As you might recall, I complained alot that it was ridiculous to make fires in the wood stove in mid-June. Of course, we all knew that once the weather finally turned, we would end up cooking. And that’s precisely what happened. We had a small heat wave a couple of weeks ago that came with little warning. Seriously, we went from 50 degrees to 100 degrees in a matter of 2-3 days. Welcome to Summer, forget about Spring.

Mother Nature is on vacation

I know we are not the only ones suffering from strange weather this summer. Texas is in the midst of an unprecedented drought, the Mid-West and East Coast have suffered with some of the worst heat in years, and I hear it’s raining in the Great Lakes area. I really shouldn’t can’t complain.

Ever since our little  heat wave passed, we’ve enjoyed the most delicious weather. (We’ve earned it in my opinion.) It’s been heaven for the past week or so. Best. Sleeping. Weather. Ever. I hate to see it end, but this week the heat will slowly be turned up. Sigh.

I just know somewhere Mother Nature is on vacation laughing at all of this from her chaise on a tropical island.

What about the fruit you ask?

Since Winter decided to hang around longer than it was supposed to, the fruit crop has suffered. This is the second year in a row that fruit has not been up to par (or even close to it). Honestly, all the fruit we’ve been getting has been tasteless and pithy. Cantaloupes smell like dirt and don’t seem ripe, peaches and nectarines would make great baseballs and the rest is unremarkable. Even oranges are blech. Our own orchard is dust…again. The blossoms that were on our fruit trees were blown off  by the gale force winds we had and any that were left were pulverized by the rain and hail storms. So, we have no summer fruit. None. We’re hoping our apples will come through in the Fall. As my friends in South Africa say, we’re “holding thumbs.”

The Mr & I have been jonesing for peaches. We went through this last year. For us, peaches have always spelled out what’s best about summer. Biting into a luscious peach, the juices running down your chin on a hot summer day – wonderful. Unfortunately, the peaches (white and yellow) suck this year.

Since we can’t seem to get decent fruit down here, the Mr and I decided to drive up to our favorite fruit orchard in Oroville yesterday, about an hour away.

Follow the pink signs

We go to Tony’s every summer. We found them by accident years ago on a drive. You head up Highway 70 (towards Oroville), until you see the gawdawful pink signs hawking fresh picked fruit. We just had to see where those pink signs took us. We were absolutely delighted when we hit the end of the road and saw the goodies that they had. You drive down a road (cut through their orchard) to where they sell their fruit, vegetables, and nuts. This year, they’ve added homemade pies!

Once you pull in, you head to where the fruit is. The folks at Tony’s (owners and workers) are the nicest people. One of the best thing about Tony’s is that they give you samples of all the fruit that they have for sale. When you buy your fruit, you know that the peaches are juicy – drip down your chin and arm delicious and sweet. You know that plums are firm with fabulous flavor and that the pluots (the Mr’s favorites) have just the right amount of tart to balance the sweetness. The blackberries are plump and lusciously sweet with just the right bite. They also have my favorite honey (Star Thistle) and the best walnuts. Heaven.

We’ve gone back every year, regardless of the summer fruit season because we can get fruit there that we can’t get here.  Somehow, it always tastes better.

SCORE!

We ended up with a flat of White Nectar peaches, a flat of Blackberries, 2 lbs of Plums, 2 lbs of Pluots, 2 lbs of Walnuts, and 2 containers of honey – Star Thistle for me, Black Sage for the Mr. All for under $30 and the fruit was all fresh picked. Really – it does not get better than this.

Ha…take that Mother Nature.

Beach Image Michal Marcol

  9 comments for “Mother Nature is on vacation and the fruit sucks

  1. July 19, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Great to See! I am moving to Oroville, and already have the land. Fruit stands like Tony’s are why I want to move back. Thanks for sharing!

    • July 19, 2011 at 7:13 pm

      Steve –

      Hi there! How exciting for you. What will you be planting (and when)? Please keep in touch and let me know when your first harvest comes in. I’d love to be one of the first to sample the fruits of your labor.

      Thank you so much for stopping by.

      ~s.

  2. July 19, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Mmmm… those Blackberries looked delicious!

    Sorry to hear about your own fruit. That does suck. I will say, though, on your comment about things always tasting better from someone else—very true. Coffee tastes better when someone else makes it, food when someone prepares it for you… such a weird concept, but it’s true.

    • July 19, 2011 at 7:27 pm

      The blackberries are delicious – what’s left of them! I have stained fingers from eating them straight from the basket. The Mr has been eating them straight and over ice cream.

      It’s just the looney weather, we usually have fabulous apricots and peaches with ton’s of plums and pluots. It’s just weird to see the tree’s empty.

      And yes, it is true that some things do taste better from someone else, I never could understand that. It is particularly true from this orchard. I think because we’re getting it fresh picked, not stored (like the markets do), that makes all the difference in the world.

      Same holds true when you plant vegetables in your own garden. Nothing tastes better than that.

      So glad you stopped by Brandon, thank you!

      ~s.

  3. July 18, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    You know, I have to admit, I never even thought about your ‘neck of the woods’ having problems with the weather. I’ve been too busy wallowing in my own self ‘the Farmers Market sucks this year’ pity. I was so glad when we were able to go pick cherries a few weeks ago.
    Every Summer growing up my Grampa would take us to pick peaches. Heaven. My mouth is watering just thinking about it now. We always came back a little stickier than what we had left, and ready to burst from the ones we ate while there and on the way home. De-licious!

    I think I’ll see if the farm we take the girls to during the Fall for pumpkins has a decent crop this Summer. It’s about an hour away, but I’m with you when it comes to driving for stuff you crave, I’ll make the drive any day.

    Thanks for sharing, even though I am now craving peaches and blackberry cobbler 😉

    • July 19, 2011 at 7:37 pm

      hehehehe :) How was the cobbler???

      Everyone thinks because we’re in California, we have perfect weather. HA! That only happens in very old songs. Seriously, I’m in NorCal – we typically have 4 seasons and SoCal used to be the place where it never rained.

      I love your summer memory. I don’t have those kind – being a city raised girl and all :) You should check out the local farm. Always good stuff and they appreciate the business. Makes for a great “just get out for a drive” kind of thing.

      I’m so glad you stopped by and shared.

      ~s.

  4. July 18, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Tony’s is the best for white peaches and nectarines! I totally feel your pain- the fruit and vegetable harvest that I’m used to is not to be found. Instead, things that normally don’t grow that well for me- like melons- are flourishing. Bring back my peaches. Bring back my tomatoes. And until then, I am happy to be within a short drive to places that have “true summer” available!

    • July 18, 2011 at 9:59 pm

      OMG You know Tony’s!!! Right now the White Nectar’s are to die for. I’m so glad I’m not the only one missing the fruits and vegetables we should have now. Guess it’s bad all over. If you have any extra melons, I’ll buy them from you!!!

      I’m so glad you stopped by!

      ~s.

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