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Whole lot of nothing and a wrong something

 I haven't been writing about my orchard this year because there was absolutely nothing to write about. The frost that we had during the first 10 days of April, with temperatures below -5°C(23°F), killed absolutely every flower in the orchard. None of the trees formed any fruits. The only things that were left were the leaves. 

We had our share of bad frosts during the years, but usually, the affected fruits were early varieties of cherries and plums. This year the frost came after a long warm period, which made every single tree blossom and killed all of the fruits. Even if some surviving flowers looked healthy, upon a closer inspection, the frozen reproductive parts were clearly completely brown and this was the sign that we wouldn't have any fruits this year, except for quinces...and I hate quinces.

We've had a quince tree in our orchard since the beginning. At first, the tree was normally growing, but 20 years ago it was attacked by woodworm, and we had to cut down 90% of the tree. The stump started letting out new branches, so now the quince is more of a big bush than an actual tree, and it doesn't stop growing.

The blossom on this quince is fairly late, usually around late May and it doesn't freeze. We haven't had a single year without them. Every year it blossoms like mad and grows hundreds of fruits. Did I mention I hate quinces?

Hundreds of quinces in our orchard are usually left to rot, and we don't harvest them. Why? Well because I hate quinces, but that's not the only reason. One of the biggest reasons, besides hating them, is that they are unbelievably easily spoiled. My quinces aren't the ones that will be left on the wardrobe for months to make the room smell nice through the winter. No, mine are the ones that rot immediately. I mean you harvest it from the tree, bring it to the house, and it will start rotting in less than 12 hours. The ones that fall on the ground will start rotting in a couple of hours.

They are incredibly hard to peel or chop. A couple of years ago my mum and I decided to make quince compote and quince cheese, and we brought all of the quinces to the house. The struggle of peeling and chopping them for cooking was just too much. We had to use an ax to chop them. 

Some say that it's easier to peel and chop if you cook them first, but they were already rotting and you can't use rotten juice to make the compote. So after we both ended up with a bunch of blisters and sore handed we gave up. Maybe the rest of the quinces are easier to handle, but this one is a nightmare.

So that's why I always just leave them on the tree, wait for them to fall down, and dispose of them, but even here the quinces refuse to cooperate. The rotten fruits stay on the tree for ages. Not even wild north winds can knock them down, so I end with a bunch of rotten fruits that start falling off right around February when I start with apple pruning, and of course event single year I fall on my butt after slipping on rotten fruits.

Now a normal person would just cut the damn tree off and be done with the struggle, but not me. I love my quince tree, it fills the orchard nicely. But only the tree, I hate fruits, leaves, and the taste of the quinces.

The latest idea from my hubby is to make quince rakia next year. Well, we'll see how this will go, but one thing is certain: I'm not chopping them or drinking it. I hate quinces. 


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