This may sound silly or maybe not; that is up to you dear reader to decide. After the many trees we have climbed, shaken, and sat beneath, we have a few favorites.
These favorites have taken on almost human-like personalities in our heads. We speak of them as though they are old dear friends. They all have names endowed upon them.
There is one though, a tree which through our storytelling has taken on a legendary persona. She alone has fed hundreds of people.
I would like to introduce The Meca Tree.
We discovered her on a warm June day while we were out fruit creeping (you can find the blog about that as well). Down this alley way we spied her branches, hanging low over a tall brick privacy fence. Her branches made so heavy under the weight of her fruit. Apricots lined each branch. Fat and juicy, her work could be easily seen.
It was not until we had driven in to get a closer look; we saw this was a giant, huge, massive, sprawling tree. Limbs grew this way and that. Each branch laden with fruit. The weight of her fruit pulled her limbs down low.
We HAD to speak with this owner. The door was quickly opened and immediately upon hearing what it was we do; she was elated! They were over run with apricots! Nobody could harvest enough!
We got to work.
With the first job being the ground, covered in apricots. I mean a blanket of apricots. Seriously, it was as though we’d entered another realm entirely.
While we gladly scooped squishy, gushy apricots into bins for our chickens and pigs; Ms K told us the story of this gorgeous tree.
You see, this tree was planted as many as 20 years ago. As a small little baby tree in this gorgeous backyard. The dog ate her. That’s right, the dog chewed the tree all the way down. Her guardians were sad about the loss of this tree.
They saw the root stock she sent up. Strong and hardy she continued to grow. Grow she did!
Due to the sprawling size of this tree, not all the fruit was ripe. It took us about 4-5 weeks to finish the job. Each week coming back for another section. Each week scooping what had fallen. Relieving her of the burden she carried, once a limb was cleaned of fruit, watching her branch Snap back in the air was oh so satisfying.
We spent hours, shaded from the sun. Hydrating with the tea Ms. K would bring. Our children lounging in the large branches, munching on as many apricots as they desired or could digest. Under those branches I was transported back to summers in the Midwest.
Our final total that year, of human edible apricots?
That’s correct! 700 pounds of melt in your mouth, sweet apricots!
This tree has provided every single year since the first we saw her. Each year we look forward to visiting. Even if it is not a bumper crop, just going to sit under her shade and protection.
To tell her thank you for the dedication she puts into making all that fruit for so many.
That my friends, is the tale of The Mecca Tree.