Being involved with the sustainable backyard tour has helped me connect with my community. Last week I walked my neighbors over to a wonderful gardener who lives nearby to introduce them. My neighbor is from Mexico and is interested in growing sunflowers. The gardener has a great collection on his property. They talked and will be getting some seedsfor some stunning teddy bear sunflowers.
On the way home, we walked the alleys and found a ton of neglected apple trees and a huge mature pear tree. Earlier today I was talking to a gardening friend and mention this pear tree. We walked over to see it and decided we were going to pick it, because the property is uninhabited.
This thing is huge! We pulled up and I saw someone sitting in the neighbors yard. I mentioned to my friend that we should probably ask the guy if he thought it would be ok. We get out and low and behold its a former coworker of my friend and he’s the caretaker for the property with the pear tree. After some catching up we got to work. Soon neighbors from all over the block turned out with bags and we all had a lovely time picking pears together. We managed to clean out the pears up to 6 feet off the ground and get permission to come back tomorrow and pick the rest. We didn’t even get the big ones yet!
In exchange, we are going to prune up the tree and make it easier to deal with. Some of the pears we were pulling off were easily a pound each. The maintenance guy tells us that he throws out 50 bushels a year. We got back home and I think we ended up with 8 bushels. I took 4 for canning, my friends us going to keep two, and the rest are going to the neighborhood gods pantry.
Looking back at the tree, it appears as if we did not even get a quarter of them.
In my book this is yet another reason to live in the city. Gardeners have come before us and their legacy can still feed us.