This is a call to arms to all people all over the land with a fruit tree or trees in the backyard. Please share your bounty!
Unless your tree is extraordinarily small or you have a low-yield season, you know in your heart you aren’t going to be able to eat it all up yourself.
I have found that if I leave the oranges on my tree too long, the squirrels consider them a delectable treat, and will eat the insides of the oranges, while leaving the skins intact, so when I go to pick them, I will find hollowed out shells of orange skin. While this is a clever trick, it is annoying and a waste of perfectly good fruit!
But too often, those of us lucky enough to have fruit trees don’t take full advantage of them, and the fruit drops and rots, or simply goes to waste because there is so much of it at one time. What a shame.
You can certainly share with your next door neighbor by surreptitiously leaving a bag of something on the doorstep (and who among us with a zucchini plant has not done that in August?).
Or you could go one step further, like I do, and widen your field by sharing your bounty with anyone who walks or drives by.
Since my immediate neighbors can’t possibly use all the lemons my tree supplies, I will often put a box out front on the driveway, with a sign inviting passersby to take them. People on their daily walks, neighbors driving by, and workers and vendors doing jobs in the neighborhood have all stopped by for lemons. One person even left a thank-you note scrawled on a scrap of paper!
This woman out walking her dog found the lemons irresistable!
I put lemons out the other day and I saw the mailman snatch a few and tuck them into his sack (hi Barry!), and then a nice woman walking her dog stopped for an armful. Although she didn’t speak much English, she allowed me to take her picture. I tried to tell her I needed the photo to prove that this strategy works.
Within an hour or two, all the lemons were gone.
I’ll put another box out tomorrow. It would be a shame to waste them.
1 old chair or stool
1 sign (I designed and printed mine sturdy sign from Vistaprint.com; they call it a lawn sign)
1 hand-lettered card that says “don’t take my box, chair or sign!” (highly recommended; you don’t want someone thinking the chair is there for the taking, or that they can just take your whole box of fruit)
Fruit from your backyard tree
I challenge everyone to join the club and share your wealth!
Few treats are as sweet as free fruit from your neighbor’s backyard.
There are websites that have sprung up to encourage this, including:
Neighborhoodfruit.com (originated in the San Francisco Bay area, but you can search for fruit by Zip Code)
Fallenfruit.org (originated in Los Angeles)
And what are you going to do with your lemons? How about making an easy Lemonade Syrup which you can then use for either a single glass or a whole pitcher of refreshing, homemade lemonade? Or how about an intense, sweet-tart Lemon Cake? Or you can never go wrong with the easiest Lemon Curd recipe.
Perhaps you would like to take advantage of the power of the Internet and begin your own local produce-sharing website in your own area?
Gourmet recipes at your finger tips...