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  • Writer's picturekaydee777

Jewels of the desert

Updated: Sep 4, 2022

More rose quartz than ruby or garnet, the arils of the first pomegranate which I open are lightly sweet and refreshing.

It might be a few weeks too early for pomegranate harvest, but I can't remember whether I planted red, pink or yellow skinned pomegranate varieties, and also am struggling to easily find the records from those early days of custodianship of the 6th Avenue Shala.

I do know the trees came from Animas Creek Nursery in early April 2019 and, though I can't read the variety, the tag seems to show deep red fruit - probably Wonderful.

They were planted at a time when I had to carry water across town because the utilities had not yet been switched on at the property.

The garden was really bare at that time. Dried yucca flower stalk cages were constructed to support the young trees while they established roots in the strong spring winds.

Now three and a half years later, the garden is a wild jungle and the limbs of the young trees are laden and drooping with the weight of swelling fruit. Some tomato cages have been repurposed to temporarily prop up the most seriously affected branches.

While I excuse picking a few pomegranates as thinning, the truth is I was curious to see what was happening inside these mystical, quintessential desert fruits. Patience is not my strong suit, it seems.

I might also be researching pomegranate pruning this winter. To date I have only taken out the odd dead pieces resulting from early or late season freezes which caught the young trees off guard.

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