Saturday, November 3, 2007

Young Avocado tree produces

It took about five years. Okay maybe six or seven. This young Haas Avocado tree was planted on a hillside with some southern sun exposure and less than a quarter mile from the ocean. We probably should have started picking from it sooner -- maybe a year sooner.

The last few years, we were delighted to watch as a lot of bright green marble-size “little guacamoles” turned to some green golf balls and then to a few green tennis balls. We did pick a sample or two that seamed to be getting less firm. The favor was good, so mostly we waited and expected that the others would automatically get bigger and eventually soften, to signal ripe.

10 to 20 of the most mature Avocados stopped changing, a long time ago. They just hung there. None dropped and none softened. This September, one low hanging target was randomly picked and sat in a fruit bowl with peaches, oranges, lemons, and bananas. It darkened and became soft for eating within a week. Four more were picked, then four more. All ripened after a few days off the tree.

Picking is now timed by when we want to have some ready to eat. There are still about a dozen picking size "guaks" hanging and as many green golf balls that are enlarging quickly.

Apparently this tree might, at least for a portion of the year, sustain a rate of producing about two Avocados a week -- if they are regularly picked