When my mother, sister and her family moved to Double S Farms, I had no idea that I would soon be the grateful receiver of their bountiful harvest of apples, peaches and plums.

 Peaches
The peaches ripen first and I had the privilege of learning how to make my own peach jam.
 
I didn’t learn how to do it myself.  My mother, Pastor Farmer, taught me how.
It was a special time for me since she was teaching me something that her mother had taught her long ago.
Besides that, the jam was delicious.
After the peaches ripened, the plum were ready a few weeks later and I decided to try to make jam myself.
I was pleasantly surprised that my plum jam turned out very well.

It is now mid-March and I still have peach and plum jam to spread on my morning toast.

Now it was time to try my hand at making applesauce from the apples.



My mother rejoined me in making the applesauce and I used it later to make my signature Applesauce Spice Cake.



I enjoyed learning how to preserve fruit.  My only complaint is that I wish that I didn’t have to do it in the summer….my kitchen gets quite warm.

How about you?

Do you have a favorite fruit in your garden?

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My latest Birds & Blooms blog post is sure to bring a smile…


What Do You Do With a Dirty Chicken?

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."

8 replies
  1. NellJean
    NellJean says:

    Fun post, peach jam looks so tasty!
    Fruit trees are in bloom here. 'Pineapple' Pear is loaded with blossoms. I look forward to a softer pear than the hard pears that we used for preserves. Wait, Blueberries are blooming too. Even the dog picks blueberries to eat straight from the bush. Oh, and figs are putting on green and the grapevines hold promises. I don't really have a favorite. They are all tasty.

    Reply
  2. Curbstone Valley Farm
    Curbstone Valley Farm says:

    Our orchard is still in its infancy, but last year we did get some yellow peaches that we turned into jam. Then I cheated. My neighbor had a white peach tree with lots of fruit that she was just leaving on the tree. I offered to turn them into jam (which she didn't know how to do). Turned out great, the fruit wasn't wasted, we now have jam from yellow and white peaches, and she has her own jam from her tree. I agree though, jam making in mid-summer isn't always enjoyable with the heat, but so worth it when spreading it on toast in January!

    Reply
  3. Abby
    Abby says:

    Yum!! Everything look delicious.

    I am really enjoying following your blog. Your blog is my "go to" when I'm in need. I'm a new-to-AZ gardener…and feel a little "lost" in the tricks of the trade in desert-gardening. I've planted my 1st AZ garden this past weekend…with hopes of no disasters!

    Are you able to raise apples in AZ?? Or are these apples from someone else? That is one thing I realllly miss from North Dakota – our plentiful apple trees!

    Reply
  4. p3chandan
    p3chandan says:

    Emmm..how nice to have peach and apple trees at home and could have your home-made jam and sauce! I bet they are so delicious..Im so envious of you Noelle!

    Reply
  5. Skeeter
    Skeeter says:

    I have fond memories of me sitting at the kitchen table as my grandmother canned everything! I never learned this hobby for some strange reason. Probably because I did not like veggies as a child. But I did enjoy the preserves on my toast!

    Reply
  6. arizonaplantlady@gmail.com
    arizonaplantlady@gmail.com says:

    Hello and thank you for your kind comments.

    Abby,
    Yes, you can grow apples in the desert. Your local nursery should stock the types of apple trees that will do well in your area. Here is a link that lists some varieties that you may want to try. http://ag.arizona.edu/pubs/garden/az1269/

    Mary Ann,
    I do not grow blueberries. It is very difficult to grow them in the low desert because they need a longer amount of cold weather then we have and they do not like our alkaline soils. In terms of spinach, I do love growing it and I have spinach in my garden from fall through spring. It does not last through the summer months though.

    I hope this helps!

    Noelle

    Reply

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