When I was born, my grandfather Popi planted a peach tree in the small back yard of his house in Metairie, Lousiana. He did the same three years later for my sister Jenna and five years after that for my sister Erin. He put the fruit trees close to the pecan tree that he diligently harvested each year, shelling the nuts for us into zip lock bags and then sending them north to Philadelphia. It was always a treat when the nuts arrived. It made my mom and dad homesick.
In 2005, my uncle, grandmother and my great, great aunt Antoinette who, at age 108, is quite possibly the oldest living person in New Orleans, were all caught in Katrina and made it out. My uncle works at Children’s Hospital and described first hand the self-evacuation they staged without government assistance. He and others on his team coordinated with hospitals outside of New Orleans and organized private helicopters to pick up the sick children and transport them to other facilities. They are heroes. My grandmother had stayed in New Orleans with my great, great aunt who did not want to be moved. They were finally rescued from a nursing home and bused out of the city. There is a part of me that is relieved that my mother’s father, Popi, passed away long before this hurricane hit. They had been through many hurricanes, and they probably would have tried to ride it out. From what we see on the news, his peach trees are now well underwater; and the pecans, part of our family history.
Summerfeld and Honey Crisp apples:
These two apples often compete in how much sugar they contain. We test our fruit for sugar content with a device called a refractometer. We put a drop of the juice on a glass plate and then look through the instrument like a telescope. Low sugar apples have a brix of 6. The average is 10; good is 14, and excellent is 18. We are proud to say that this week the Summerfeld tops the charts at 18 and the Honey Crisp isn’t too far behind at 17.
Enjoy and be fruitful! – Chris Mittelstaedt firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-877-FRUIT-ME