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Bush cherries


I believe it was four years ago that a gardener friend urged me to go to Tractor Supply and get some of the cherry bushes they were selling. The potted bushes were very small — not more than two quarts, as I recall. I have never known a bush that is so hardy and grows so fast. The bushes have been heavily pruned at least twice, and once again they’re starting to block the path from the garden to the orchard.

As for the fruit, I wouldn’t say that it’s the best fruit in the world. But it has the virtue of being very early and very prolific. The pit-to-fruit ratio is not all that great. But who can turn down fresh cherries in May. Bush cherries would make a fine, fast-growing hedge.

The muffins are whole wheat, sweetened with maple syrup and honey.

Watch out for pits!




The 2016 apple crop is coming along great.

Someone told me recently that the abbey is looking shaggy. Oh well. Better shaggy than barren.


  1. Jo wrote:

    SHAGGY??? Natural is first word that comes to my mind. Living in the country does not call for manicured lawns, etc. Love the photo of the weathered birdhouse amidst the beautiful foliage. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts and seeing Acorn Abbey become what it is today. The cherry “bush” is nothing short of amazing. Happy plant.

    Friday, May 20, 2016 at 6:31 pm | Permalink
  2. DCS wrote:

    Speaking of apples…

    I had a boatload of apples, red delicious and Granny Smith green, left over from a student event recently. We tried and tried, but didn’t make a dent in them. So today I determined: I must cook these so they don’t end up out back for the possums.

    So I set up a card table on the porch with cutting board and various knives and a paper bag for scraps, and I set to working peeling and slicing about two bags of apples. Not particularly fun.

    The problem at that point was that I have absolutely no sweet tooth. Don’t like sweet stuff. Never have. So what to do?

    I decided to stew the apples in the usual way but steer it away from sugar-sweet and more toward savory-spicy.

    I wish I had the photo skills that you do, David, to show how well this actually came out, so you’ll just have to trust me.

    I had enough sliced apple for two batches, so that’s what I did. Starting with a large 10-inch skillet, I melted half a stick of butter on medium high, then turned the heat down.

    At this point, I added a little less than a cup of raw, unprocessed sugar, then a half-cup of water. This is traditionally the point where you’d add brown sugar and cinnamon, but I didn’t. Instead, I added:

    — quarter teaspoon good salt,
    — quarter teaspoon nutmeg,
    — quarter teaspoon sweet curry,
    –quarter teaspoon Herbes de Provence.
    — hint of white pepper.

    I let the apples bubble at a medium-high heat for a bit, then turned the temp down and let it simmer quite a while on medium-low heat. Then I took it off the heat and let it set for a few minutes before putting first batch in a bowl and starting the second batch.

    I thought about adding a pinch of red pepper flakes but chickened out. Now, I wish I had done it. The flavor profile leaning more toward spice and away from sugar — while letting the apple slices be as sweet as they want to be — is a winner.

    Yes, this was just an experiment but one that I want to continue playing with on this journey to fresh, vegetarian cooking. (OK, I imagined these apples as a perfect side dish to chicken or pork, but that was not supposed to be the point of the exercise.)


    Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 3:13 pm | Permalink
  3. daltoni wrote:


    Sunday, May 22, 2016 at 6:53 am | Permalink
  4. Henry wrote:

    I love the Abbey, even if I haven’t seen it live…its beautiful, country and warm. Who said it looks Shaggy needs to see their optomitrist.

    Re the bush Cherries, I wonder if they’ll grow in N California? I bet the birds would like them!?

    Monday, May 30, 2016 at 8:07 pm | Permalink
  5. daltoni wrote:

    Henry, my guess is that the bush berries would grow in Northern California if they were well watered or oriented toward cooler morning light rather than afternoon light. The birds love them!

    Friday, June 3, 2016 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

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