Thursday, August 02, 2007

fresh fruit free (?)

Last week, a friend and I went for early evening walkies.
During our long (almost 2 hour!) walk, C and I came upon a property that had a huge overgrown peach tree (and a plum tree as well) in the front yard.
Branches laden with ripe fruit spilled over the fence, practically right onto the ground at our feet.

Before C and I saw the fruit, we could smell their heady fragrance.

The photos don't do justice, but as you can see, the fruit had either fallen on the ground or were barely hanging on the branches - ripe for picking.

So why wasn't anyone taking advantage and hauling off with some of that luscious summertime harvest?
More to the point, why wasn't Yours Truly filling the nylon sack (I had one with me, using it as a lightweight purse backpack) - with a bit of that delicious bounty?

Well, because doing so felt like it would be an intrusion/trespassing on private property.

The neighborhood C and I were in - is pristine, affluent, quiet. No residents were out and about, though it's highly possible we could have been watched whilst happening by. We even saw a patrol car making the rounds to secure the area from potential prowler (or peach-pickin'?) types. I suspect that on the eaves of those huge, hillside homes could be found a surveillance camera or two...

It must be stated that I'm a good citizen who is not prone to pilfering on private property. Because I saw no evidence of friendly, handwritten signs stating 'Please pick to your heart's content' 'Fresh fruit - free for the taking' - I withheld my itchy need-to-have-some-of-this-free-fruit-pickin' hand from touching any of it.

Truth be known, I wouldn't have stopped at taking one or two peaches.
If I got going, I had every intention of picking enough to bake one helluva big fat pie.

There was no homeowner (not even a hired gardener!) around to ask for permission. I'm kinda funny that way - even with growing up in the Chinatown 'hood', I need to ask if it's OK before going a-scavenging.

Really, it just didn't seem to be that kind of neighbourhood.
So there. I didn't succumb to my harvesting instinct. Don't think C had a desire, or we could have conspired (one lookout and one picker)?

This week, you can bet that I'm kicking myself thinking about all that tasty fruit gone wasting and rotting away on the ground and on those branches.
Mmmmmmmmm.....and can't stop daydreaming about peach cobblers...plum jam...

Ah well.
Let go and let the wild birds have a field day all-you-can-peck-at buffet.

Guess I'd better get my honest little ass down to a U-Pick farm or to the local green grocer, then.


justducky said...

Go get that fruit!
You could make an anonymous pie for the owners. Wouldn't they be surprised!

Who cares if anyone sees you!

We have a group that goes around town and collects falling fruit bounty and delivers it to a food bank.

So many gardens have an overflow.
Why waste God's gifts!?

Conn said...

OMG!!! you are too funny. this story made me laugh out loud! I am the same way here. we of course have an abundance of fresh fruit in our yard, but we have no juicy mango. when we are out and about we often see ginormous mago trees laden with so much fruit it is a crime that no one is picking it and i think... how can i just non-chalantly mosey on by and scoop up 2 or 3 or 4 o5 or 12 or fill the back of my car up? as you say,,,Let go and let the wild birds have a field day all-you-can-peck-at buffet. da birds gotta eat too.

John said...

Your post reminded me of some peach trees we had growing up. It was hard to get good peaches from those trees. There was always a split pit! So frustrating. By the time we moved out of that house, the trees had reached the second floor outside my parents bedroom, you could actually pick them from the window. I would have pinched those perfect peaches in hot second! You must have a will of iron.

baffle said...

Mmmmmmmm - just last week I ate (whilst sitting here at the computer) an exquisite mango. What a happy mess! Mango juice dripping all over the keyboard! I was so enamored by the sweet, perfectly textured fruit that the mess was a secondary concern (not like me - usually Little Ms. Neat n' Tidy).

Arrrrgh - Split peach pits often mean creepy crawlies can get inside and do creepy crawly things.

(My) Will of Iron is AKA Intense Chinese Guilt. Even if I made a pie for the owners of aforementioned peach tree, they'd probably think it poisoned (read: projecting Chinese Paranoia).

Thanks for your thoughts, folks!