Well, they’re not really MY apples, they were grown by our next door neighbor Wilson. Wilson and I have an unspoken deal. I help out with her chickens, cats, bees and yard (and sometimes kids) and in exchange, I get to pick whatever fruits hang over the fence into our yard. Sometimes that’s low-hanging, easy to pick fruit; but more often the harvesting requires that I stand in the Ford Ranger truck bed and stretch. This is where my yoga practice comes in handy. If you really want to reach that ideal branch of apples or figs, while still keeping your feet on your side of the property line, you’ve got to do some contortions. Warriors, lunges, revolved triangles and probably some second series postures I haven’t even learned yet. To use a basketball term, there’s not much cherry picking going on in this effort; it’s a dang lot of work.
Or to use another analogy, it’s kind of like that textbook one-handed grab in football – your feet have to be in bounds (in your own yard) but the rest of your body can spread way outside the lines (into your neighbor’s yard) to snatch that ball. Crap, I’m probably going to get some unusual hits from the search engines by using snatch and ball in the same sentence. Oh, and sometimes you have to clutch the jersey of a teammate in order to seize the immaculate catch – kind of like partner yoga, including the sharing of sweat, since this usually takes place at the heat of a cloudless summer day (thanks Kali for coming over to do some U-Pick at the Double O South!).
As the grandkid of a 4th generation fruit farmer, and the niece of a 5th generation fruit farmer, I hate to admit this. But if these apples were in a store, I probably wouldn’t buy them with all those spots. Not that I do the shopping in the household or anything, so I guess it’s more like I’d probably be annoyed if Doc. B. brought these home from Your DeKalb Farmer’s Market. But you know what? They may not look as pretty as non-organic, “sprayed” apples, but they taste just as good. And psychologically, they also taste better. Because I know they were pollinated by the bees in Wilson’s yard, pecked by the blue birds living in the house next to the trees, and licked by the neighborhood squirrels (just don’t ask me about the “large mouse” I saw jumping out of the fig tree yesterday and we’re all good).
As Joni Mitchell said, and the Counting Crows agreed, “give me spots on my apples but leave me the birds and the bees”. Spot on, spot me, see Spot run, hit the spot, Johnny on the spot, etc… Whatever your slang, it’s okay to have a soft spot for apples…with spots.