Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Birds, Bees, Fruit Trees & Tiny Carrots

Friends, a miracle has happened:  Our fruit trees are bearing fruit! Isn't it amazing???

Okay, if you have been diligently reading every post in this blog over the last year, you might understand why this is so incredible. For those who have not been following along, I will recap: The fall before last, Robb called me up at work and said that he had just bought a couple of fruit trees. Nevermind that it was nearly winter and you are supposed to plant trees in the spring. Nevermind that we rent our apartment and our landlady still has no idea (I don't think) that we have planted two trees in the yard. Nevermind any of it. Robb bought an apple tree and a cherry tree, and he somehow got them home. We lowered them into the ground on a chilly late October Saturday and sort of crossed our fingers that we'd done it right.

Last summer, the trees grew leaves, so we knew we'd done something right! But alas, no fruit. After doing a little bit of research, we learned that fruit trees need to pollinate with other fruit trees of their species. So, like, you should buy two apples trees and plant them near each other. And if you don't (the informative books and websites cautioned), then your tree will never bear fruit! And so, since we had no idea if any neighbors have apple or cherry trees, we assumed that ours would be fruitless trees. No apple pies. No cherries on top. Nothing!
So it was quite a surprise when I went outside yesterday morning and looked up to find these tiny little apples growing in one of the trees! I actually made a little audible gasp, which was very awkward because I was brushing my teeth at the time. (It's my habit every morning to walk around the yard for two minutes while my Sonicare does the work.) I ran inside, spit out the toothpaste, and then ran back out with the camera. Amazing! After ogling the olive-sized apples, I then went to the cherry tree, not daring to get my hopes up.
But lo and behold, the cherry tree had little nubbins on them that look like they want to become cherries! Do you see? Bright red little pairs that the ants keep crawling over (you can see one of the ants in the background, out of focus, nibbling on a cherry nub like a total jerk.) Still amazing!

But the best part of the story is this: Later in the day, while talking to Robb, he confessed to me that he might be the reason why the trees pollinated. When they were both flowering a month or so ago, he picked flowers off of each tree and rubbed them on the flowers from the opposite tree. That's right, he played GOD with our backyard! (I particularly love that he did not tell me he did this and probably wouldn't have told me if the fruit trees hadn't start fruiting.)

So, it is entirely possible that Robb and his bee-like ways made this magic happen. Or maybe that's impossible and it wasn't his doing at all. Either which way, FRUIT IS HAPPENING! 

Can you tell I'm excited?
Because I can tell that you're jealous and you think I'm being braggy, I will also share with you a story of this lone carrot. It is actually a survivor from last year's crop. We thought we'd picked them all last autumn, but then we saw the tell-tale carrot fronds and thick stalk of this one growing right up in the middle of our flower patch. Considering how big the plant had grown and how long it's been in the ground, we assumed it was going to be a monster! 
Well, last night we dug it up. And if you can tell by the scale of my fingers to the scale of this carrot, it's, um, well it's hardly a meal.  So...we haven't quite figured out carrots. But look at the pretty color! At least there's that.
And finally, for absolutely no reason, here is a photo of a hydrangea forming in the corner of our yard. Isn't it pretty and delicate and green? Oh backyard, so full of life. You make me forget there is a dreadful thing called winter that is a yin to this delightful yang.


  1. This is my favorite blog post yet. That ant IS being a total jerk!

  2. What Nicole said.

    Seriously, the idea of Robb playing god with your trees -- and not telling you about it -- is priceless. But does this mean you're going to end up with cherry/apple fruits now? Chapples?

  3. Erin, I hadn't really thought about chapples! Yeesh, we are really messing with Mother Nature over here.