Every time I see a flower on a fruit tree or a garden vegetable, I get hungry. Maybe this is common knowledge, but I didn’t know until recently that where ever there is a flower on a plant that grows fruit, there will be a fruit! It’s like an awesome movie trailer of what’s to come. Or even better, the X on a pirate map of where the treasure is. Or even best, a beautiful flower that’s come to say, “I will soon be a tasty piece of free food for you to eat!”
When I was farming, we would weed the strawberries regularly, and take all the brown parts off of them in client’s yards so they would be pretty, or pot them up to sell. And I slowly noticed that the little yellow center of their happy white flowers would get bigger and make a dome. And sometimes I’d see pre-ripe, young, small strawberries that hadn’t turned red yet. But it took me a while before I saw the same little yellowish strawberry emerging out of the center of a flower. Holy crap! “Does each flower become a strawberry?!” “Yes, Ruthy,” my kind boss would say. My lack of knowledge never seemed to bother him, I think because my excitement when I did learn made up for it. And because he likes teaching. It was a good match.
Then I started noticing that lime flowers birth limes. That apple flowers birth apples. That the seed in the center of the flowers on the strawberry flowers become the seeds we see on the outside of the fruit. I’m still completely amazed by all of this!!!
And remember, “fruit” is anything with a seed in it. Not just what goes in a fruit salad. So tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, cucumbers are all fruit and come from the center of a flower. Doesn’t that sound like we get fruit from one of those mermaids that lives in a giant shell under the sea? Like she lives in the center of a flower and took magician classes and gracefully hands us fruit out of thin air? Or is that just me?
(Vegetables like lettuce, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, swiss chard, they all make flowers, but at the end of their cycle. If you don’t cut them for salad and just let them be, they “go to seed” and get bitter tasting while they grow taller, grow flowers, and spread their seed. And a lot of times, you can eat their flowers and they are delicious! So either way, flowers= eating!)
Moral of the story: Whenever you see flowers on a plant, the more you see, the more you can get excited! It’s like a Christmas tree of color that looks really pretty until it tastes really pretty! Seriously, who thought of this?! Good job!
I was at my friends’ house today and so many of their flowers were in the middle of becoming fruit. It was like they were begging for a photo shoot! I hope you enjoy this homage to their garden that shows flowers quietly becoming fruit, right before our eyes…
Click for a slideshow to really see the detail in the pics and to read more about them. If you feel like it. No pressure.
4 thoughts on “Flowers Become Fruit: An Homage to Simon & Elaine’s Garden”
Hi Ruth! I love your article. Did you know we also have an orange tree (there’s no oranges this year), and horseradish. I’m harvesting the horseradish this year. I’ll send you some. – – – Simon
Wow! Simone! I knew y’all had more fruit trees, but I didn’t know what kind. And I didn’t know about the horseradish! I don’t know anything about horseradish. Other than how it tastes. (I think I had it for the first time at your Seder!) I don’t even know what the plant looks like. Thank you for offering some. That will be exciting to see!
Cool article, Ruth. Did you know we also have plumbs coming in now? There’s orange trees too, but no oranges this season :(. We also have horseradish that my grandfather and I planted in the early 80’s, that I transplanted to California. It’s coming with us when we move!
Did you also know, I couldn’t tell my comment posted. And I posted it again? I bet you know that.