The source of it all

A barren orange tree means no marmalade, and no marmalade-making this winter means no blog posts.

Mirabelles have a long and tasty history (crossineO/Flickr)

Still, I’ve been working toward jam in an altogether different way — planting fruit trees and learning how to graft them. Finally, hopefully, in a couple of years I might actually be able to try making some of Christine Ferber’s plum jams using actual mirabelles and gages. Fingers crossed; the grafts seem to have taken, but the fruit is still a long way coming.

Yesterday more trees went in. I lugged a couple of half-barrels up to the deck and dug a few holes in the backyard. Black Jack fig, Conadria fig, Wonderful pomegranate. Two more quince will go in once the rain takes a break.

And then there’s the errant quince — another one! — I found while clearing our shady side yard to make room for berry bushes. Poor thing was shrouded for years in ivy and agapanthus. With the weedy stranglers gone, the quince has leafed out, and I’m holding my breath to see if the weather and tree can work together on some delicious fruit.

So here’s to sweet and tangy plum jams, fragrant quince jellies, and meaty fig preserves. Even if the wait is years ahead.

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