Fel Meshmesh

I was going to call this posting Return of the Planet of the Apricots. It was June 22, 2009 when  I wrote the report of our apricot picking  in the post Planet of the Apricots. Last week we returned to Vacaville and picked the orchard again and bringing 381lbs of apricots to the city to give away (including the amount of squished apricots that our volunteer gleaners brought home to can, brew mead,  and cook into jam, we picked easily at least 400 pounds of fruit). I think it is so amazing that we picked the same amount as last time, although it seems there was less fruit on the trees.

While researching using the apricot kernels which I discovered are not too hard to crack open with a nut cracker, I ran across this   http://egyptfarm.blogspot.com/2008/05/eating-apricot-kernel-in-egypt.html.  “Here in Egypt when we want to refer to something that will never happen we say “fel meshmesh”. This Egyptian saying in Arabic means “when the apricot season comes”. Meshmesh (مشمش) is the Arabic word for Apricot. The season for apricot in Egypt is so brief that as soon as it starts it comes quickly to an end.” “Egyptians do not only eat the apricot fruit, but traditionally we also break the seed coat of the apricot and eat the kernel inside. ” I have been slowly cracking open our kernels and drying them…why not use this good food source?

Produce to the People brought not only apricots, but 23lbs of  plums from Holy Innocents Church in Noe Valley and 47lbs of lemons from Gen Park (I think that was from two trees). I love Lauren and Produce to the People and her gleaning project is so right on! Right on target for what is needed in the city is to get our fruit trees picked and the fruit distributed to people in need. They are having their Ice Cream to the People! benefit this week at El Rio 3158 Mission St. on Thursday 5:00pm until 9:00pm. I love to support them and they always have delicious vegan ice cream besides the dairy kind. “And a new treat this year will be live bluegrass music from The Porch Collective! Plenty of space on the El Rio patio, under the lemon tree, to dance or at least tap your toes to the lively tunes”.

We are at the height of stone fruit season and it has been unreal how much fruit we have been getting left over from the farmers market.  Mike went to the Stonestown Mall Farmer’s market to pick up the left-overs and took these photos of the some of the fruit that was there.

I have been canning and freezing the soft fruit that is left over from our stand and at the Stand yesterday I brought a bicycle powered blender that I borrowed from my friend Megan.  The idea was to show people how they can use the mushy fruit and among other things make smoothies. Kids and adults especially enjoyed the smoothie making scene.

After the Stand I still had more left over fruit that I wound up canning. I was thinking there is a need for a fruit gleaning and processing  phone tree…people who we can call last minute to help pick fruit or process it.  It actually turned out that we couldn’t pick all the apricot trees when we went to the orchard, but at the same time it took some work to distribute it and to process it all. If someone wants to organize that I think the time has come.

We also got a drop off of very beautiful Red Russian Kale from Sam from the School Farm at the Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, between the Twin Peaks and Mt. Davidson and had plenty of summer squash.

here is a 12 pounder before we cut it up and gave it away (variety Costata Romanesco. We had a picture of a smaller one last week)

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