Just As I Thought

Gold in the streets

I didn’t think about future cleanup when I planted my orange tree, but I am beginning to see the necessity of maintenance. It turns out that there are quite a few orange trees in my neighborhood — just as an aside, I might point out that any kind of fruit tree was rare back home in Arlington, Virginia. I heard tell of an apple tree here or there, but mostly the trees were just leafy. Anyway, it harkens back to the days when San Jose was one big orchard, before they were all plowed under for over-priced housing and warehouse-style buildings housing high tech companies.
So, there’s an orange tree in my neighbor’s yard to the east, another to the south, and a few doors down on the west is a huge tree that overhangs the fence over the street. The oranges are beginning to drop off, rolling down the street, where I nearly stepped on one walking Diego last night.
I know little about fruit, especially about when it is ready to pick. My tree is dotted with small green lumps, so it is fairly obvious that I probably won’t have any ripe oranges this time around — unless they continue to ripen and will be ready in the spring; I’m told that the fall is the time for oranges. Eh, what do I know? Anyway, the next time I walk Diego down that way, I might just reach up and pick an orange. Did you know that in California, any fruit overhanging a property line is fair game?


  • As a young boy we had a huge plum tree in our front yard and my mother made a big tree skirt out of sheets. Think Christmas tree skirt but much bigger. When we started seeing plums fall Mom would attach the skirt and all of us kids would hold up the outer edges of the skirt and my mother would ‘bump’ the tree trunk with the car’s bumper. All the ripe ready to fall fruit would fall into the skirt. Mom would back away and bump it again, and again more fruit would fall. She would pull the car out and we would lower the skirt now full of ripe fruit and haul it in the house for Jam and Jelly.

    The remaining fruit on the tree was now available to us children and/or any other neighborhood kids that wanted to climb up or wait for it to fall.

    I used a similar trick on my apple trees but rather than bump the tree with the car I just shook it and the ripe apples fell into a netting. No muss no fuss.

  • “in California, any fruit overhanging a property line is fair game?”
    Do you have any idea how much restraint I’m showing by not making the obvious gay joke? smile

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