We just ate our last peaches. For the last two weeks we’ve had peaches every day from our tree. Today I sliced the last few peaches, lightly sauteed them in butter with a dash of cognac, and served them with shortbread and cream for our afternoon tea. Fantastic!
Actually, make that two, fantastic dessert and fantastic to have been able to make the dessert in the first place. See, last year I had all but given up on ever getting any fruit from this tree. For four consecutive years, some heavy creature that I was never able to see or identify in any way, would take all the fruit as it was getting ripe and break all the tree’s branches in the process. We tried to keep the marauder from the tree and failed miserably. Year after year we were not getting any fruit, we were not even able to taste one peach to figure out if we even liked it, and the poor tree was getting a heavy summer pruning.
How did we get from fruit thief to afternoon tea with peaches?
We enclosed the whole trunk with flashing, so that rodents cannot climb onto the tree. We had used flashing collars in the past, but much smaller. This time we just covered the whole trunk to be sure. We noticed that birds were damaging the fruit from above so we covered the tree with bird netting. And it worked! Something worked, we are not sure what, since we don’t know who was taking the fruit and breaking the tree, but something worked.
At some point the tree will be too large to cover with bird netting, but for the next few years I am counting on this little tree giving me peaches. I have to admit though, that outwitting the mystery peach tree assaulter made the fruit taste a lot sweeter.