Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What's your fruit?

By Grace Bridges

It's harvest time downunder. Figs, feijoas and banana-passionfruit (see the pics in that order) are the order of the day - a bounty passed around amongst neighbours and friends so that none goes to waste. The most common fruit at this time of year is the feijoa - a marvellous little piece of edible workmanship that grows very well in urban gardens. It tastes something like a banana crossed with a pear. The best thing is, if you get a good batch, then no two taste alike. Banana-passionfruit are actually considered a weed because of the way the vine strangles other plants and trees. But the yellow fruit is very plenteous in season, with a similar taste to regular passionfruit. Every plant has a different fruit, a different flavour, and even variations within flavours.

I see authors as having parallels to fruit trees. We produce the fruits of our labours for others to enjoy and we all have our own distinct flavour. We need the right conditions to produce good results - water and sunshine and good soil, or inspiration and encouragement and determination. Some readers will like our work, while some will not, as I'm sure you all know people who can't stand one fruit or another. Some fruit is harder to get at, like a spiky pineapple or a slippery mango, but those are even more valuable and worth the effort for the taste.

What kind of fruit tree would you compare yourself to? A faithful lemon tree that has fruit on it all year round when people come looking? A mandarin tree bearing life-giving vitamins in the winter? A kiwifruit vine that grows best in an orderly vineyard? A humble strawberry, feet firmly on the ground, but prized for your uniqueness?

I think I'm an apple. The crunchy kind. Giving folks plenty to chew on, and when the core is thrown away, it might just grow up into a new tree...

And by the way, the most amazing thing about the fruits I've pictured here, and the others in nearby gardens, is that they continue to produce even though we've had no significant rain for five months, except for the autumn showers that began this last week. Check out the cracks in the dry ground!

I can only guess that they're digging deep and drawing on their internal reserves to complete the task of ripening all this fruit. Now wouldn't that be an awesome ability for a writer to have!

Your turn! What fruit (or vege!) are you like, and what makes you that way?


  1. Loved the post, Grace. Never tho't of comparing ourselves to fruit. Quirky & cute. Thanks!

  2. I think I'm like the blackberries that grow wild here on Vancouver Island. Abundant, hardy, generous, and often despised by those who want tidy lawns and orderly gardens : )

  3. I've been a long-time enthusiastic vegetable grower. Sadly had to give up my garden. My favourite veggie is the potato. There is little to match the taste of the first of a crop, just steamed. Nothing added. It melts in the mouth.

    I also like that potatoes carry everything they need to grow inside of them. I suppose that's 'potato metaphysics'...