Cherry Harvest

I just returned from a couple of days of great fun with Gloria up in Santa Rosa. Her aged cherry tree was just groaning under the load of fruit this year, so I moved a ladder around up in it and picked cherries for two days.

We took a break in the late afternoon yesterday to go out to the Santa Rosa Market, and I found it just delightful. It’s located at the main square downtown and is a combination of a farmers’ market and a street fair with all kinds of vendors selling street food. Really great vibes there, and huge numbers of teenagers socializing and families eating street snacks and some quite good produce from the farmers.

I was a bit taken aback, though, as we walked into the main entrance through an area where there were people pushing various political and religious agendas. Not that I was offended by folks espousing their views, but rather that the city had restricted this activity to an area identified with banners as the “Free Speech Zone.”

Made me feel real old, as I recall the previous century when we thought of the whole country as a free speech zone. But that was before we got so afraid of everything that we let the government take back all those unnecessary rights, allow us speak out only in defined areas, and put protesters in pens out of sight and hearing of those being protested against.

Ate a sweet nectarine, though, and forgot all about my former freedoms.

The inflorescence on this trip was that one of Gloria’s cacti (a Gymnocalycium?) had four big buds in the morning, and I thought if I got lucky I might see a couple of ’em open up.

I was wrong:

Gymnocalycium

The other great garden news is that her poha is covered with ripening fruit:

Physalis peruviana

The campesinos were back at work this morning, and I staggered home with something like seventeen pounds of cherries plus a couple of big bags of lemons. Gloria’s so on top of it that she refrigerated as many cherries as we could get into her refrigerator as soon as they were picked, so I don’t have to be in a panic rush to make jams with them. Since it’s got good reviews, I’ll be making batches of various Cherry preserves.

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