Last weekend I took a road trip down to visit a sister and introduce her to Just Fruit and Exotics. It helped at least temporarily to switch my focus from waiting to lose most of my fruit this year when it blooms too early to looking forward to the ones that love my long summers but not so much my winter.
We took a route that is mostly 2 lane highways instead of freeways. It’s only a 6 1/2 hr trip that way, and much more relaxing and enjoyable than interstate routes. We saw Georgia in a way we’ve never seen it before. Mile after mile after mile of alternating cotton fields, pecan plantations, and pines for forestry industry, interspersed with small city-towns. All that started just over an hour from home and continued until close to the FL border. I never realized there were that many pecans grown in GA!
We had an enjoyable time browsing at JF&E. Even if I did purchase only about half of what I had on my list because a sedan can only carry so much and the plants were not small, I still wound up getting a few that I hadn’t planned.
Probably the most important tree was an Oconee pecan because we needed a type I. Then a Christmas loquat that should ripen earlier than my other. A Mammoth feijoa (pineapple guava) because we need some cross pollination. I picked up a very nice RJ Hovey papaya that’s already taller than I, and managed to transport it without breakage. Now if it an manage to hang in there and stay in decent shape without outgrowing my grow tent before acceptable weather arrives, it might do well. In which case, it’s going to be interesting watching it grow.
I also bought an ice cream banana. I’m a bit befuddled about this. I know most ‘ice cream’ isn’t. They had a stalk of harvested ice cream bananas on display at their fruit sampling area. With their pale powdery coating those certainly looked to me like pics and descriptions I’ve seen. However the pre-printed tag on them says Musa manzano beneath Ice Cream. I’m likely to never actually harvest any, and we do like apple bananas, but it’s always nice to be sure I’m actually growing what I think I’m growing.
I bought a Xie-Shan, Ponkan, and a couple of Cara-caras. Unplanned purchases were a Sweet Bay and a Professor Sargent camelia japonica. It has gorgeous flowers. We have many sasanqua, but no japonica. This helps fill in a gap in the flowering bushes.
There was no room for the apples, peaches, and olives that I would have liked, but I can always “visit my sister” in the future.
Even though JF&E supplied phyto certificates to show at ag check points, we stopped at my sisters and gave everything except the papaya a dose of systemics.
My Someone was not happily surprised by the carload when asked to help bring stuff in when we arrived home at nightfall, but in the morning was found admiring the camelia, eagerly anticipating fresh papaya, and wondering when the leaves on the young Bay could be used.
The short trip revitalized my spirit enough to carry me through a little longer during this period of winter, and now has me looking forward in some ways to summer, the other rather rough season here.