The Fruit Exchange

We gave one of the neighbours a bowl of plums the other day. I thought Julia was being a bit generous with the size of the bowl, as I like plums, but let’s face it, they go bad easily so it’s better to give them away than see them rot.

Today we had a knock on the door and were given a bowl of figs and two sizeable squash.  Fair exchange, as they say, is no robbery.


Figs – Brown Turkey

They look a bit green, but they are beautifully ripe – I’ve already had one to check. Some of the plums are perfect and some still a little sharp, but it’s better, I feel to pick at this point. One year we left them a bit late and a lot went brown and mouldy overnight. Some years, because of poor management, the tree fails to produce, but although it’s disappointing it’s not as bad as wasting the crop.

Our cherry tree, as I may have remarked before, was picked clean by birds most years so I simply took it out, which gave more room for the plum and the rhubarb.

Julia tells me that the container grown damson tree is almost ready to pick, though the harvest will only be eight fruits.

The final photograph is plums in a steel bowl. It’s difficult photographing fruit. They may sit still, but there’s not much of interest about them so when  I got the chance to use the reflections I gave it a go.

Reflected Plums - Victoria

Reflected Plums – Victoria

The problem was that as I took pictures I ate plums and by the end of the shoot there were significantly fewer plums in the photographs.

I’ve been thinking about my retirement and if I really need a garden or should buy a flat instead. A flat would mean no garden and less work, but a bungalow would mean space to sit outside and would make me take exercise, which I really should have. And I could plant fruit trees.

There are various proverbs and quotes on this subject, but it is now time for me to plant trees even though I may not live to sit in their shade.

14 thoughts on “The Fruit Exchange

  1. Helen

    Gosh, a bungalow definitely in comparison with a flat. If you are used to outdoor space, I think you’d feel incredibly cooped up in a flat.

      1. Clare Pooley

        Flats entail less housework but, from my experience, you get surround-sound neighbour noise, conversely you are more isolated from neighbours – hearing them but never meeting them and … no garden. I have felt so sorry for flat dwellers without gardens during this pandemic.

  2. tootlepedal

    An excellent plum shot, Quercus. Plum trees tend to overproduce one year and underproduce the next in my experience. At least you have plums. The late frost this spring has left us with the grand total of three.

    1. quercuscommunity

      Yes, we have experienced that. It is time for a severe prune next year anyway, as I have been rather lax over the last few years.

      We have been reasonably lucky with blossom too, though one year the wind did take most of it.

      We had three cherries in three years, so we took the tree out to give plums and rhubarb more space. That wasn’t wind or frost, just birds. I like birds, but there is a limit.

  3. Lavinia Ross

    The reflected plums make a beautiful photo! I would always opt for a least a small place with some land, even a small back yard to call your own, plant trees and whatever seems like it will bring happiness and good food. Considering another pandemic will come, but we don’t know when, some place to step outside in the fresh air is always a plus.

  4. Laurie Graves

    A bungalow with a garden sounds like just the thing. Sure wish I were your neighbor. Not sure what I’d give in return, though. However, if we had your climate no doubt I would have some fruit trees so maybe there would be something to give.


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