Avocado Madness

So, yeah, we went to Russia for about two weeks (plus a few days of travel time). You can see photos from that trip here and especially photos of the Moscow Metro here.

Then we came home to bizarre midsummer pouring rain, and now it's a heat wave. Because the weather this year is already weird so let's just go all out. It might have been a bit more impressive if we were not already totally messed up by jet lag and the colds that inevitably hit us in Moscow. As it was we basically slept for two days after we got home.

This evening we got together with our neighbor, Richard, to harvest avocados from his massive, 40-foot-tall avocado tree. We have the ladder, he has an extending fruit picker.

Richard in the avocado

He climbed up into the tree, then used the fruit picker to grab avocados that were hanging over the neighboring yard. The primary reason for harvesting the avocados all at once is that there are two small kids who live next door, and a couple other kids who play or hang out under the tree. Falling avocados from 40 feet up can do some serious damage.

Noel catching avocados

Richard tossed the picked avocados down, first to his son, then to his wife, then to Noel. A baseball mitt is a vital piece of equipment for harvesting avocados from very tall trees. Even so, several avocados fell from the tree and broke into pieces on the concrete driveway.

Three sacks of avocados

And that's the haul: three sacks of avocados. We still have half the tree to harvest, because the rope to extend the ladder broke and we decided to call it quits for the night. Our take was one sack, which is probably enough avocados to make us royally sick in addition to freezing some for later. The neighbors will be donating the excess to the food bank.

posted by ayse on 07/03/11


ooh yeah, make loads of guacamole and freeze it in little containers so you can have some whenever you want! So jealous! :)

So glad you got to go to Russia! great photos the Metro sytsems are truly beautiful built for the ages. I did not know you could freeze avacados yum get them while they are on sale! it takes a very long time for an avocable tree to bear fruit!

I'm jealous- Avacados do not grow here & the imports are expensive & sort of flavorless. I never thought of a falling avacado as a hazard though so I'm not as jealous as I could be :)

They don't ripen on the tree so the falling avocados come down like bombs. Enough to put you off having a tree in a yard you plan to use a lot.

Wow. WOW. That is a lot of avocados. I had never thought about the baseball mitts and their usefulness in that way.

I know what you mean about the falling avocados though - there are lots of monkey puzzle trees here and their fruit are huge spiky things that fall from the 20-40 foot trees. Really something you don't want to have hit you.

So jealous! We have a fig tree over on Everett Street that my boyfriend keeps chopping to bits. He hasn't killed it yet, but intends to, much to my dismay. I would love to have fresh figs and avocados for the summer. I second the suggestion to make guacamole and freeze it for later.

Other places I've lived in the Bay Area you could always find a lemon tree for picking. I haven't found one here yet, but there must be one somewhere. El Cerrito, Berkeley, Contra Costa... just about every neighborhood I've been in had at least lemon tree, if not something else like oranges or mulberries. Gawd, mulberries are a mess! But not as deadly as an unripe avocado falling from 40 feet up. Yikes.

Carol, we have a non-stop supply of lemons. I don't even know why we planted two more lemon trees, but maybe because we got hit on the head with an avocado? Anyway, we should trade or something.

The Chronicle had an article that mentioned a dwarf avocado called a. . . "Bacon," that was it. In a Pam Pierce article. I'm thinking quite hard about planting one. Must rip out the rosemary, though.

Looks like you've got enough to experiment with lots of avocado recipes.

Holy Cow!! That's a huge tree! Guacamole heaven :)

i love avocados, but living in wisconsin now, instead of california, we are lucky to find the crappy ones from peru at the store for 1.50 each. when they go on sale for 90 cents, i buy tons of them, then i peel them, put them in freezer bags and make them all smooshy for guacamole later! it freezes very well!

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