Sunday, July 25, 2010

Peaches, Avocados and Bergman

shaku and i walked in at 8 pm friday night from work. leah was home w/ tek and laxmi. when we're late, they care for her as she watches her favorite TV shows (cartoons or animal planet) while josh is coming in from thamel w/ a couple buddies to play risk at home later tonight.

i grabbed a small plum sized green peach from the three large containers in the kitchen as i walked upstairs. i'd asked laxmi and gita to pick them off the trees today, as i noticed that some were already over-ripe from the rains. in fact, laxmi just said there are many more on the top of the trees that she and gits cudn't reach -- so tek or i will have to get the ladder this w/end. kathmandu peaches are still, mostly, hard, unripe little fellas -- but the soft one i just took while passing upstairs was juicy, tender and almost sweet.

best, of course, is knowing that they come from saplings we've planted in the backyard over the years. these 15' peach trees are in the way back ('beyond beyond', as the buddhists say...). i forget exactly where they came from... many i bought w/ nick in the bishalnagar nursery years ago when he and gis were living near there. others came from that lovely indian peach farmer who was in k'du a decade ago selling us all on his nani tal peaches.

alas, however, nepali peaches haven't been our most tasty fruits -- even if they are the most prolific. we must have a few score kilo of peaches on 6-7 trees. there are buckets already downstairs, with more buckets to come if we harvest all that are out there, before the birds nibble away as they ripen on the brances.

yet i still dream of greek peaches as big as grapefruit with the sweet, sticky, salivating juice sliding off my lips as i bite into these luscious summertime treats. but, given our summer monsoon, the relatively lower elevation of kathmandu (relative, that is, to the latitude...), i doubt that these young fruit will have the chance to ripen to purrrfection the way they do in the drier climate of europe.

still love the one you're with! these are our own lichhavi lane peaches!! from these, gita and josh have already made a big bottle of peach jam that tastes delicious! now, gita's working on peach mash for peach juice. i just swirled a thick glass of the stuff that is rich in backyard joy if not quite as suave and sugary as the Real juices sold downtown. no doubt, we'll have a few more bottles of jame and juice in the days to come when gita finishes unveiling these green peaches.

in addition to the ripening peaches, some of our mangos have come inside as they got so big they were falling off the pint-sized trees. these are grafted mango trees so the they won't get 40' tall like the ones in the terai, but only get maybe 15-20', i hope. these small trees are only 4-5' now, but have begun to shed fruit already. there are about 5-8 mangos per tree and some 4-5 trees fruiting this year. all of these mangos are migrants from siraha in the terai seven years ago when my colleague, lilemani sharma, brought them from nurseries that save the children had initiated for the local farmers.

plus, in this year's best surprise, one of our avocado trees has 15-20 avocados hanging from various branches. only one of the trees is fruiting so far. last year it had two fruit, so we're getting ready for a deluge in the coming years when all five of the trees start hanging with those dark devilish green vessels.

the seeds or saplings originally came from california. a friend, david sowerwine, part-time inventor and agriculturist, who gave them to us some years ago, as well. i tried to grow a handful from avocado seeds that we'd brought from our honeymoon a few decades ago in bali, but those trees never fruited, so we switched to david's saplings, which promise bowls of guacamole and avocado sandwiches in the coming years!

ok, leah is chasing coady or coady is chasing leah, when she's not hanging coady by her ears in a curious cat yogic posture. coady is leah's newfound friend, an ex-street/field kitten that gita brought home a few weeks ago. now coady has worked her way into the house at night-times to sleep w/ leah (and me last night...). she's thin as a bean and quick as lightning flipping and fleeing around the room with rapid instincts and enigmatic movements. still, coady's quite friendly, in a cat-ish way, but w/o the humanizing eyes that puppies and dogs have, at times, so always a bit of an extra-terrestrial ET creature from my perspective...

time for dinner and to watch the 'smiles of a summer night', a bergman classic, they say. it's a swedish turn of 19th/20th century 'midsummer night's dream' story of love, illusions, sensuality and irony -- a comedy, of course, since it takes a bit of a distant look at we confusing and confounding humans.

as chancey gardener used to say, 'i like to watch!'.

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