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Chums Next Door

Northern California Wild Plums

It is the heat of July and the month has washed over the land with cool air, bright sunshine and largely very pleasant temperatures here in the Bay Area. Everything is in full bounty and there is a splendid beauty to the land.  I am immersed in discovering the unexplored country of my yard and the adjacent lands. This year, a Yellow Cherry Plum tree is in gorgeous bloom between our house and a neighbor's. They didn't call this part of Oakland the Fruit Vale for nothing!

Delicious, absolutely pittable with our cherry pitter and yellow to rosy pink, I call them Fruitvale chums (cherries+plums) that I get to enjoy thanks to the generosity of our neighbors. Maybe someday when we've retired, Chums will be a local jelly we make.

In our back yard, the nectarines are beginning to weigh down the branches, the strawberries are reviving after a rather meek start (due perhaps to colder temperatures), the Brown Turkey figs are coming on strong; the Meyer lemon is finally ending its huge spring harvest.

Within 5 houses in either direction, you can find rose plums, dark purple plums, red cherries, apricots, oranges, lemons, pomegranates.

It is a season of earthen plenty that I wish I could share with the hungry, downtrodden and poor mouths and spirits around the world. So while I patiently wait for the digital world to unfold the parallel world of taste on the web, this is the best I can offer to you now.

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