Harvesting apricots in July in Utah
We have one mature apricot tree on our property. Mostly every year it blooms a bit early, then a frost comes along and kills all the blossoms off, knocking them to the ground, meaning that there will be no apricots for us.
When we noticed the tree covered in flowers this spring, we gritted our teeth and said a little prayer to the fruit gods that a frost wouldn’t come along and wipe our flowers off the tree. We got lucky. This year, the fruit had time to grow. The young apricots survived two or three light frosts and now, here we are with a wild harvest of sweet, delicious fruit.
Apricots starting dropping from the tree about a week ago. We went out to harvest and would come in with 5 pounds or so for the day. We put some row covers under the tree so the apricots didn’t get lost in the grass. Now the fruit have ripened en masse and they are falling like crazy – and ready to be picked.
It is wonderful that this year happens to be a year when our tree gets to do its reproductive thing. Both of us are out of work from our day jobs, so with no steady income to rely on, having food that is there for the picking is fabulously convenient.
Already I have made some fresh “jam” with our earlier harvests. This jam is basically just stewed apricots, no sugar added, and stored in the fridge for short term eating. Both the hubby and I marveled at the transformation of the apricots from sweet, fresh fruit to tangy bright jam. He has quite the sweet tooth and even he agreed that it didn’t need sugar.
I went out to harvest apricots this morning and was amazed that when I filled a bowl, there seemed to still be just as many apricots to pick up. Our total for today has gone up to…. eighty-five pounds! And there’s still plenty on the tree. Our plans for these include making some proper jam for long storage, dehydrating them into dried apricots, and perhaps best of all, a few gluten-free apricot pies.
Having fruit trees on your property is like sending a gift into the future. By the time it arrives, it will have multiplied beyond your wildest dreams. Whether it’s for yourself or some stranger who hasn’t been born yet, plant a fruit tree and create some free food!