At the same time we picked the last two Yellow Newton Pippin apples. They were as sweet as the one in January, crisp and juicy without being hard - a delightful finale to a short but wonderful harvest.
As the apples pass into memory, other crops begin. The Medlars are ripening and their harvest will begin in a week or so. The acorns are in full swing, and the Madrone berries are well started. Even our frost-smitten garden patch still produced a few very late sunflower seeds!
This is a drought (PG&E cut power several times during very hot, dry weather - so much for the irrigation) blighted and late seeded (early August) "Mammoth" sunflower (they are normally over a foot in diameter), yet it managed to produce its thin shelled and very tasty seeds all the same.
The Oaks are in full swing of acorn production as well. We have excellent crops of Tanoak, Canyon Oak, and Blue Oak, though acorns are not as large as last year on average. Valley Oak is producing, but we are late and the critters seem to like those acorns best...
These are Blue Oak acorns, one of our favorites for culinary use. A cool Fall afternoon is a great time to hunt these gems among the leaves, and it resharpens the hunter-gatherer mind and eye in preparation for the coming Mushroom season! It is also a lot of fun. Sometimes you stumble across genuine surprises, such as Phacelia minor in full bloom in the middle of November! (This species normally flowers in February and March through June).
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