In the post The Fruits of My Neighborhood I shared my adventures of discovering a neglected green apple tree in a nearby neighborhood during a bike ride; “liberating” the fruit; and making an apple pie.
Since discovering a neglected, unused apple tree, I have kept an eye out for other fruit tree in my neighborhood or surrounding neighborhoods that are neglected, apparently unloved, and unused. I think of it as my “Fruit Tree Love Intervention” or “Fruit Tree Appreciation Harvest Rescue” program.
The other day I discovered a neglected tree (the house is on the market and empty) that appeared to have “cherry-like” fruit but the fruit did not look like traditional cherries.
I thought – “what the heck, I will try one of the suspicious cherries and see if they are edible” (or if they will cause me to fall to ground convulsing as the poison of the toxic berry races through my body).
I lived, but you probably guessed that as I am writing this post.
The sample cherry was VERY tart, especially the skin. It did not taste like a traditional “sweet cherry”. I went home and researched what type of cherry I had sampled, searching through many photos of cherry fruit and cherry fruit trees; and it appeared to be a Prunus cerasus cherry or “sour cherry” according to Wikipedia.
After reviewing several sources on sour cherries, I decided free sour cherries sounded like a good idea for a future pie. I thought “future pie” as it has been very warm in Central Oregon lately and I was not in the mood for baking.
The challenge: the sour cherries on the tree appeared were fairly ripe and many had fallen to the ground already (poor unloved fruit tree!) If I put off making the pie, the cherries would be done for the season (lying on the ground, sad that they did not get into a pie, tart, or jam…)
So I researched freezing cherries and it turns out that sour cherries are very good to freeze – they keep their nutritional value when frozen. Also sour cherries have considerably more nutritional value (according to my “googling”) than sweet cherries.
I returned yesterday and gathered a huge load of unloved sour cherries from the neglected tree, rinsed and froze them for use in a future pie or tart!
I froze them individually at first and then bagged them together for freezing, so they would not stick to one another:
I am still keeping an eye on two neglected pear trees in the neighborhood.
Their fruit is not getting ripe, it is still very hard. I keep testing pears and they they are hard and not very tasty. I did take one home to see if it would ripen off the tree, but I think they pears are just not ready yet.
So they will have to wait to be “liberated” from their neglected tree!