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In season: Italian plums

Posted on September 20th, 2012 by Andy

There are so many good fruits ripening on trees about this time of year. Some trees are bursting with a variety of apples. Others are bending to the weight of tantalizing plums. My neighbor has an Italian plum tree whose many branches hang over the fence into my backyard, providing me with a bounty of the tart-sweet fruits. The fruits at the top of the tree have ripened first, but the lower branches are bearing fruit ready for the picking.

Italian plums are terrific for canning, freezing or for making into jams and jellies. My son and I like to pick them and eat them fresh off the tree.

The European varieties are usually blue or purple. They have a firmer texture, milder flavor, and are sometimes tart so they’re ideal candidates for baking. They’re dark blue when ripe, with yellow flesh that separates easily from the pit.

Here’s a guide to preserving plums and prunes.

If you have a fruit tree that is bearing more fruit than you can handle, consider contacting one of the fruit-picking services in the city, like City Harvest. These groups help homeowners pick their bounty, reserving much of it for donation to local food banks.

To learn more about growing fruits in western Washington, consult Washington State University Extension’s many publications on this topic.

Filed under:Seattle Landscape Maintenance | |

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