Our friends Phyl and Lee came over tonight bearing newly picked, perfectly ripe figs from their friend’s tree, sharing the bounty that had been shared with them where they would be appreciated and eaten in time. So good.
In turn, we fed them peaches picked Friday morning at Andy’s Orchard. Michelle had called ahead the day before and been told, Don’t come down today, we’re about out–wait till tomorrow, we’ll be picking first thing, and whatever all else they said was such that Michelle told me, We need to be there at eleven.
We got there at 11:05 and two people in line ahead of us already had three boxes and a bunch of people who came in after us wanted some. We were allowed three boxes, too, and a few extras because we’d called ahead, and because we were buying not just for us but for a friend with four school-age kids who’d tasted some of what Andy grows and definitely wanted us to bring her more.
But I asked around the room first: did everybody have some that wanted some and did they have as many as they wanted. I’d never seen the place so crowded and we didn’t want to be greedy. It was clear they were running out fast. We had a heat spell in the hundreds early in the summer and it sped up the ripening process so we were near the end of the season early this year and clearly, people knew it.
Those CalReds were even better than the variety we bought the week before.
That afternoon, looking at those rows of beautiful fruit, I thought, y’know…if I ever needed an excuse to stop by our neighbor’s and check in on her that’s a good one right there.
She’s been fighting cancer. Knowing how careful you have to be when you’re immunosuppressed, I told her, These have only ever been touched (to the best of my knowledge) by the picker this morning and by me.
She was surprised and happy and anticipating just what those could be like and I wondered why on earth I hadn’t done this before.
Phyl, who grew up with two peach trees herself, remarked tonight, Now *that* is a peach.
As my cousin once remarked, Adam and Eve could never have been tempted by an apple: it had to have been a peach.
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