(Della) Our lovely prune tree which we planted over 30 years ago has had its last crop. It has been sickly for the past decade or more and its crops of purple skinned, yellow-fleshed prunes had been steadily diminishing until a couple of weeks ago a wind bought down half of the tree, leaving only a small portion of rotted trunk and associated limbs behind.

We have yet to remove the debris, but as the plums on the fallen branches were ready for picking I was able to get a reasonable harvest as the whole crop was within my reach for once! No doubt the birds felt cheated by my advantage. Usually we just eat what we can manage fresh, but this year’s haul made me think of drying the prunes.

Happy to report that the dried prunes are a delicious snack and that the ones that were a bit squishy simmered up beautifully in their own juice and went particularly well with a little Greek yoghurt and vanilla.

We will plant another this winter, in a different place, as I have the old position ear-marked for a lovely red maple. Farewell prune tree, and thanks for the tonnes of food you have provided for man and beast.

We must try to strike some cuttings from it before we have to remove what’s left of it so it can live on. Merrin (our daughter) already has one of its children growing in her orchard. There is a continuity to life, you see.

Poor old Prune De Sargeant

Partof the Last Haul – they were so delicious for so long.The last few stewed. How wonderful they were with fresh cream and ice cream.

In the dryer.

Finished drying.

And vacuum packed. We shall enjoy a handful when the old tree is only this memory.

Soon that is all any of us will be.


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