Gardeners, Fuertes and Ripening Tip Post

We have new gardeners who started in January. At this time of year, gardening is truly mow-and-blow since nothing much is growing and all the leaves have fallen months ago. In fact, I went out to my car yesterday evening and noticed they'd raked patterns in some areas that are just dirt.

You'll perhaps recall the rent increase of a few months ago at which time the landlord was told to instruct the gardeners not to pick the avocados on the tree hanging in the yard of this rental. In the past I'd been very generous giving her bags of them. For the extra $210/month, I felt they could purchase their own.

An avocado in the hand and Blue ignoring me.
Yesterday, I looked out just to see what was taking so long, and discovered the assistant up on a ladder batting and hacking Fuerte's out of the tree! When asked why, he informed me that "the boss" told him to pick them. Where does this feeling of entitlement come from? Telling him to stop multiple times finally worked but he took the avocados with him!

So I promptly walked limped out the gate, found the green treats in a bag by their tools, picked them up and brought them in the house. The property manager was called and soon the two guys left! Now one could understand where they might see the big fruits just sitting there on the tree and assume that no one wanted them. But at least have the courtesy to ask.

The avocados are picked as needed. They get traded for citrus from the yards of friends! When fruit is on the tree, it can be left for a surprisingly long time, months to be specific. It'll still be totally fresh and edible, in fact in this case, they actually get more buttery tasting.

Now that I've had my little tirade, I'll show you just what they were absconding with. First, my hand. The avocados were so big, they covered my palm!

My palm. 
Avocado in palm with thumb out and Blue still ignoring me.
These four would easily make three to four batches of guacamole for someone and be worth a bag of citrus, like Meyer lemons, in trade (yum). I also picked three more ripe tomatoes while out there which puts the count at seven for the week and there are four seven more in the ripe to nearly ripe stage still out there!

By the way, if you ever want to ripen fruit, just put it in a brown bag with an apple. Apples give off ethylene gas which is a ripening agent. It's used commercially to ripen fruit that's picked green so it transports well.

A. of the couple (P. and A.) who live in the other house on this property told me she was going to make guacamole for a party (after the windstorm in December that brought down about 80 avocados). She also invited me to the party, but told me the avocados weren't ripe enough for dip, so I mentioned the apple idea to her. She put about 20 of them in a drawer with an apple. (Really suggest a brown bag vs. a drawer in case you forget about them.) The poor woman had enough ripe fruit for bowls and bowls of dip! In fact she was handing out containers of it when people left. It only took two days for so many to ripen! I'm just very happy she didn't put all 80 of them in the drawer!

Does anyone else have out of season or humongous fruits or veggies like this? What do you do with it? Enjoy it yourself, or trade for other goodies? Or both?!

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Blogger Joanne said...

How awful! I would fire them on the spot. NOT okay.

That avocado is HUGE. I'm eternally jealous.

3/3/12, 3:59 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

Hi Joanne! Traded the 4 avocados and 3 tomatoes for about 15 Meyer lemons! I'm delirious...spent the day looking at recipes. The friend I swapped with said just one made an entire bowl of guacamole, that's how big those babies are!

3/3/12, 5:23 PM  

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