Category Archives: Fruits

More Space Than You Thought – Podcast 29


Fern Richardson grows “tons of herbs,” “tons of succulents,” lots of vegetables, and at least six trees—on a balcony. I’m not quite sure of the tree count, because after I counted to six, I’m afraid my hearing did the auditory equivalent of glazing over—I just wasn’t entirely functional for a moment there.

When she was listing them—the kumquat, the apricot, the fig, the two apple trees—I squawked “TWO?” so loudly that I had to lower the volume of that one word in the recording, to preserve my listeners’ hearing. There are two, Fern quite reasonably replied, because apple trees cross-pollinate with a nearby tree of a different variety.

I know this, of course, but still—two apple trees on a balcony? And lest you envision some Hollywood terrace big enough for a swimming pool, let me give you the exact dimensions of Fern’s garden space: four feet by ten. (4’ x 10’)

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Summer fruit: strawberries

The strawberries came in with unprecedented abundance this year, and husband Steve once again proved his worth, this time by whipping up batch after batch of shortcake. As my younger son says on occasion (usually an occasion that features chocolate in large quantities), “Now I know why I keep you.”

We have never before had nearly enough strawberries. Until this summer, husband Steve maintained that one never will, unless one has acres and acres to devote to the project. His dim view of strawberry plants (mentioned elsewhere) results perhaps from overexposure at a young age, when his plant-pathologist father ran a pick-your-own strawberry business on the side, with his three sons as primary labor.

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