October 13, 2014
Strawberry guavas are not for the faint of heart. You have to really like them to go to all the fuss of gathering and processing them.
A gardening friend down the street is replacing her full size strawberry guava with a peach tree. It’s all about choices in a small, urban garden.
And another friend up the street took a neglected, potted guava of mine, gave it fresh soil and a larger container and now it thrives on her patio. She savors one guava at a time as they ripen to a deep burgundy color.
Since the guavas are uniformly smaller this year, picking is tedious. Lids from our rain barrels catch the drops and sometimes we resort to shaking the tree. The latter method requires sorting and here my husband assumes the task while watching a San Francisco Giants playoff game.
I usually cook six pounds of guavas at a time—the amount needed for two batches of strawberry guava jam.
The kitchen smells heavenly as the guavas cook. Then I use my grandmother’s chinois to separate the seeds and other indigestible parts.
This is hard work.
The six pounds yielded seven cups of thin puree which went to the freezer. Later, I’ll spend a day making the strawberry guava jam from my stored puree.
During guava season, I keep a small jar of puree in the fridge to pour over fresh fruit, stir into yogurt or rhubarb, add to a smoothie or mix with sparkling water. The rich, tart-sweet flavor of the puree reminds me it is worth the effort.
Other harvests are inconsequential. Finally, the persistent heat is over and I planted seeds for the fall-winter garden last week.
Three drops from the navel orange tree yielded two small glasses of juice for Sunday morning breakfast.
A red pepper and a few chili peppers, sauteed in the scant pan drippings and some olive oil made a snappy garnish for roasted pork tenderloin.
Rue and senecio with magenta alstromerias for the church foyer. The weather has cooled and the perennials and roses send out late blossoms.
Check out Harvest Monday, hosted by Daphne’s Dandelions and see what other gardeners around the world are harvesting.