Mexican life

Front & fruit

LAST EVENING, the wind blew, the wind chimes sang, and this morning dawned clear, beautiful and 65 degrees.

A front passed though, I think, but without rain.

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Guayaba

The wind also added to my morning fruit sweep. Curses! Every wind, it seems, brings an evil element.

I stepped outside around 8:30 a.m. and saw the grass littered with fallen fruit, more than usual due to the winds.

Big, fat pears all over the place. On the other side, tunas from the towering nopal tree littered the grass. Back to the other end, a new addition from the neighbors, guayabas.

They’ve long had an apple tree extending over the wall. It dumps apples, but not last night.

A guayaba tree now pokes over into our yard, tossing litter. There were scads of guayabas to be scooped up.

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Lots of care must be taken with the nopal tunas. They are covered with tiny spines that, in your skin, take days to remove. So, leather gloves with the tunas. I wonder why they’re named tunas. There’s nothing fishy about them except their attitudes.

Missing, thank the Goddess, were those apples, lowquats (not quite ripe) and sour orange. They stayed on their limbs.

All the fruit filled a big bucket, which I lugged heavily down the street and heaved into the deep ravine between the roadway and the railroad track.

That done, I could enjoy the lovely morning in peace.

31 thoughts on “Front & fruit

  1. I am finally through with guayabas!! Had a tree in the driveway of another house, and green slime prevailed. Out here I also had one that was only good for the birds, night critters and my horse. No more horse and no more tree. Woman who Mops my Floors liked them. Now she just takes my limes … no more slipping on green slime.

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    1. Peggy: I was unaware of the green-slime issue. I pick the guayabas up so fast they don’t have time to get slimy. Yuck. Count yourself fortunate that you don’t have a nopal tree.

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      1. I do have an African Tulip that drops orange flowers for several months every year … a constant sweep, but they do remind me of a Georgia O’Keefe painting. Nopals don’t last around here as the women are out cutting them before the pads even mature … illegal up in the mountains.

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        1. Peggy: Dropping flowers is usually a lesser problem than dropping fruit. However, the golden datura litter poses a problem. And, for a number of years, we had a trumpet vine that dropped dead flowers all over the place. I eventually yanked out the entire plant. Been far happier without it.

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  2. What is it with you and fresh fruits? They’re good for ya. Pears should be good to eat as they come off the trees though the ones here can be hard and tasteless. Guavas too, though you have to cook them in sugar or something. Tunas are ok also, though more labor-intensive. You can make some sort of marmalade with them. Clearly you need a recipe book for additional details.

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    1. Señor Lanier: Generally, I’m just not much of a fruit fan. As for eating the supply here, I’d be eating all day, every day. The quantity is overwhelming. As for making marmalade, nah, just not interested. The supermarket sells marmalade. I can afford it, and there’s no labor involved for me.

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  3. There are numerous mercados in town with hundreds of vendors selling fruit and there are thousands of small grocery stores that sell fruit. Many Mexicans are born hustlers who buy and sell many different kinds of items to help put food on the table or buy gas.

    It is relatively easy to find people who would be happy to pick your fruit for free or even find some who would give you a share of their profits. I have dozens of buyers every year who come to my door who want to buy my avocados. Many kinds of fruit also make delicious wine.

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    1. Andrés: Abel the Deadpan Yardman carries off fruit from here frequently. As for letting other people in here to get the fruit, it runs counter to my avoiding letting people inside the Hacienda property unless it’s really necessary. A safety issue, especially considering the rather iffy neighborhood.

      So, I’m stuck with the fruit. Much, likely most, goes into the ravine.

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      1. Personally, it goes against my grain to throw food away. In Oregon, I gave my plums to my neighbor and he gave me several bottles of plum wine in return. I would bring a couple of bushels of pears to work and trade them for zucchini and corn. I also got some venison in my pear orchard.

        In Florida, I gave a couple of bushels of grapefruit to my neighbor and received tangerines and oranges in return. I gave my guava/guayaba to another neighbor and she gave me jelly in return.

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        1. Andres: I think I may be giving the mistaken impression that I am tossing perfectly good fruit away. That is hardly the case. Ninety-five percent of the fruit I toss is either rotten or is full of holes pecked by birds. Most of the damage occurs high in the tree before the fruit falls to the ground and becomes accessible to me. And that’s the long and the short of it.

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  4. I seem to remember a neighbor of yours complaining to you about your dumping into the community ravine. No one complaining now?
    My Mexican wife has firm rules about not letting passing neighbors look into our yard. I concur with her safety issues.

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    1. Patzman: Boy, you gotta memory on you. That was quite a few years ago, and it was done out of spite and the fact that I am a Gringo. I have no proof of that, but that’s what I think. I cooled it for a while and toss smaller stuff now. And it’s all green, biodegradable. Dust to dust, and ashes to ashes. It’s not like I’m tossing plastic bags and tin cans as do too many people here in my backwater barrio.

      As for not letting unknown people in, or even see in, that’s the reason I had the mighty Alamo Wall built after our first year here. It’s impossible to see the house from the street even with the gate wide open.

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  5. I didn’t know you were a fruitophobe. Gardens are a lot of work which is why we sold our last property. I made the mistake of planting every variety of plant that would grow north of the 49th. After a few years it became a paradise but after 15 it was a lot of work and I was getting older so we decided to sell. I don’t miss it. I guess Rincon de Guayabitos was named after the guayaba. Didn’t know that. Anyway, were almost neighbours now. Arrived in Mexico on the 22nd for our annual two month visit. Any longer than that and I’d have to get a hobby. Enjoy the cool mountain fall while we sweat it out on the east coast. Thank God for A/C.

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    1. Brent: Not really a fruitophobe. It’s just that fruit usually is not high on my list of food desires, and that desire has diminished as I age. Got no idea why. What you did on your property sounds exactly what I did here: Plant like crazy years ago, and now I’m regretting it. Work!

      Enjoy your visit. Why on earth people come down here and stay more than two or three days in the sweaty, buggy zones is beyond me. Most Mexicans live inland where the weather is far superior. It’s prettier and it’s where most of the nice Colonial cities are.

      Oh well, no accounting for taste, eh?

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  6. I like the heat but then we’re a block from one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen. We have lots of “pretty” in Vancouver in the spring and fall. In the winter … not so much. I credit Mexico for curing my asthma 10 years ago. It never returned, and I have no idea why. Perhaps the heat and humidity. Perhaps the lack of pollen, mold and dust. Perhaps the change in diet. Perhaps the lack of stress. Perhaps all of the above.

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    1. Brent: You “like the heat” indeed. So why were you thanking God for AC in your previous comment? Heat on Mexican coasts gives a whole new and unpleasant definition to the word heat. And then there are the bugs. Your wife makes you go there, right? ‘Fess up. I got your number.

      As for Mexico curing your asthma, I vote for our laid-back lifestyle. Isn’t there supposed to be a psychological element to asthma?

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  7. The A/C is for night only. And we haven’t noticed any bugs yet, but if we’re going out around sunset put on a bit of bug spray.

    True, my wife likes it here, and every year I like it a bit less as it’s getting more crowded and expensive (like everywhere else). Still, this is the off season and it’s not crowded (yet).

    As for the asthma I do think there’s a psychological as well as environmental elements. My doctor (who also has asthma) poo-poos that theory so to heck with her. Mine is cured while hers is not.

    Enjoy your cool mountain air while we suffer through the heat. 🙂

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    1. Brent: Perhaps the bug problem is less on the east coast. Dunno.

      No AC here at night if you don’t count the cool breeze coming in the bedroom window all year as AC. It’s free.

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  8. Señor I am not going to worry about you anymore. Your fruity blurbs get comments from all directions. Even more than your political barbs. And that’s saying something. If you disappear, I will just expect you back when you get ready. Eat more fruit.

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  9. Well, maybe we’ll have to visit you one year in your mountain paradise. One final thing: here’s a link to a 12-year-old Trump supporter you may find amusing or inspiring. I know you’re not a big fan of Alex Jones, but the kid is amazing. Out of the mouths of babes.

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    1. Brent: I wouldn’t call it a paradise where I live, but it sure has nice weather. Well, if you don’t mind freezing your butt off on winter nights.

      As for the video, he’s clearly a very sharp kid, but he’s parroting his parents, which is fine in this case. He’s just too young to come up with all that on his own. He’s a created phenom.

      But let us not wander off into politics on this fruity post!

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  10. We are enjoying a bumper crop of walnuts due to the neighbor’s tree that leans over our fence. I’ve been collecting buckets full every day.

    Nice problem.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    Where some fruit trees wouldn’t be unwelcome either.

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      1. I’m not complaining. I just came in from gathering another few pounds or so. We’re eating them and giving them to friends and we still have a surfeit. And more to come.

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