Fruit is one food group I could overdose on. When I was growing up, my parents always had bags of different fruit in the refrigerator for our snacks. I did not grow up eating candy, chips and soda. Not that we never had it. Potato chips was a side dish to a sandwich meal. Soda was a treat. My parents would buy the soda at a local store that was 12 cans for $1.00. Yes, really! On week-end nights my father would make us ice cream sodas with the well known Neapolitan ice cream and our choice of soda flavor. No two liter bottles back then, which was in the early sixties.
In Florida, we had an orange grove, but it was young trees. So we were lucky when we got one orange. Our kumquat tree was more productive than any of the orange trees. Living in Florida though, we had no shortage of oranges or grapefruits since most people had groves around their houses. Watermelons back then sold for little money too, a few for a dollar I believe. Big contrast from when my husband and I lived there in 1994 and paid $5.00 for one watermelon.
Living in New York state you may think it is too cool of a climate to grow much fruit. That is wrong. I think we have a plentiful growing season here. Combine that with our rainy weather and it is perfect for fruit. My grandmother had a peach tree in her yard and I remember picking peaches from it every year. She also had 100 acres of blueberries and that was a gold mine. Berries grow abundantly here. Raspberries, strawberries, elderberries, you name it and they probably grow somewhere here. Learn how to grow your own fruit here!
Our state is also well known for grapes. A little farther north than where I live, is NY wine country. Wineries dot the landscape traveling off the main roads in Ithaca, Watkins Glen and surrounding areas. Grapes are a good crop and easy to buy if you don't grow them yourself. My father has always grown a good crop of them in his backyard. I learned to can from him, canning grape juice and jelly.
Other fruits that grow easily here in NY are apples, pears,plums and others that I have probably missed. Apple orchards are all over the state. You can easily find a U-Pick apple orchard in any county. They also grow in residents' yards and through out the state forest lands. Nothing beats a New York state apple! My father also has a couple of apple trees and a pear tree that bear fruit yearly. The apple trees in my own yard have produced apples every year since we moved here. Even the year one of them that was loaded with apples, fell over from rot! Our horses love the game of me gathering apples and tossing them out in the paddock for them to chase after. What kind of fruits do you grow? Or what kind of fruit is your area known for?
Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole