New love the lowly loquat 5-5-2016

An aphid village is revealed as the vegetable garden is tended.
An aphid village is revealed as the vegetable garden is tended. Heather Hacking — Enterprise-Record

I learned something this week: The beauty of loquats is in the eye … and in this case the mouth … of the beholder.

Recently I poked fun of the lowly loquat, a mostly meaningless fruit that ends up as goo on my walkway. A week after those words were printed, I was on top of the camper picking fruit for my coworkers.

Audria and Susanna wanted to know how loquats taste. Can you make them into jam? Can you use them like other fruit? With pork? In salads?

They didn’t believe me when I said they weren’t worth a trip up a ladder. They did not seem to care when I explained that even squirrels won’t eat them.

I’m not totally stupid; I knew it would be nice of me to bring them some fruit and let them decide for themselves.

Just so you all know, I am afraid of heights. My stomach starts to get queasy just looking at a tall building. \

To avoid that whole ladder thing, I climbed on top of the camper, which was parked under the tree after our recent trip to Yosemite. I climbed the camper ladder, pretending in my mind I was climbing out of a deep swimming pool. Next I sat on my rump and managed to reach the lowest hanging fruit, without standing up.

By the way, loquats bruise easily and should be picked when they are yellow, not orange. I learned this the hard way. By the time the fruit was delivered to my work friends, it looked like I had dumped my sack on the ground and hit the loquats with a hammer.

Apparently they still tasted good. Susanna said they were sour and sweet, like sour candy.

I tasted them as well. I agree, they’re different in a fun way. However, unless there is a natural disaster and I need to forage off the land, I think I’ll leave this particular fruit to the squirrels and these girls.

Audria found an article titled “Loquats: Here’s What You Do with Them,” from the Full and Content website,

Writer Lisa Rawlinson provides some great loquat recipes, some fairly straightforward and others combining lesser-eaten foods. Jam and loquat mojitos were on the list. Then she suggested a Brussels sprouts and prosciutto pizza.

I’m guessing Susanna and Audria would love this.


This is a fun time of year for playing in the garden. For the past few months we’ve been harvesting spinach and kale almost daily. With so many leafy greens, I stuff them into plastic snack bags and add them to my stash of frozen fruit.

Just as the plants have awakened to the spring weather, so have the bugs. It’s much less fun to harvest greens when you’re looking under every leaf for microscopic gray, green or yellow critters.

Kale and spinach are trying to send up flowers. I lop these off to save the plant energy. Within this tight clusters of leaves I find aphid villages.

They’re just aphids, but I don’t want them breeding in my compost pile. A squirt bottle filled with water and a tablespoon of dish soap is used to douse the aphid colony before I move on to inspecting the bottom side of leaves.

The next phase is summer veggies. As soon as we got home from camping, I planted crook-neck squash. My thought is that by the time the squash branches out, the lettuce and kale will really be done for the year.

I also planted “green squash.”

I wish I had more clues other than “green.” However, I can only blame myself. I grabbed the seeds from the local seed exchange a year ago. When I wrote down the name, “green squash” is all the description I could muster at the time.

In a way, I’m glad. It will be fun to let the mystery unfold.

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