Farewell Plum

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Grazing, August 2008.

Yesterday’s wind and rain storm knocked out a few young tomato plants around town for sure. And sadly, it took down my favorite old plum tree. Part of the curved trunk still stands, barely. The mass of the tree tumbled into the neighbor’s yard during an especially gusty few minutes in early afternoon.

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Leo learns to walk, July 2006.

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Plumfest, September 2003.

We’ll miss that old tree. The fruit was delicious. In 2002 and 2003 we even had “Plumfest”, at which everything served had to include the magical plum. There were great plum wedges with cheese, dumplings, soups, glazes, sauces and desserts.

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Plumfest, September 2003.

The kids in the neighborhood would graze on the fruit in late summer and early fall. A friend’s father would spend hours picking the fruit and deliver it to his friends. Sara would can whole plums and put them on ice cream as a mid-winter surprise. As the plums hit the over-ripe point, the birds moved in and cleaned up on the soft, juicy fruit.

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Harvesting, July 2006.
all images © Tim LaBarge 2010

We’ll survive. There’s other fruit in the yard for snacking and saving for winter. But that old tree, with its mossy trunk and curvy spine, seemed to hold secrets and stories of the past from the neighborhood and our yard. I loved just knowing it was there.

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