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Cultivation and Use of Common Medlar

| 11/8/2016 1:29:00 PM


For about 30 years, we have had this strange alien growing in our garden. My dad, R.I.P, got this little tree from somewhere before 1990. It’s grown big by now, but we never had any use for it’s funny-shaped fruit until about three years ago. And this usefulness seems to be due to climate change.

The Common Medlar, as the tree is called, is not adapted to locations so far north, and we never seen or tasted a ripe fruit before. In fact, we hadn’t the slightest idea what they are supposed to taste like. We knew, they were supposed to be harvested after first frost, but whenever we did, they weren’t ripe, they were hard, turning black quick and tasting awful — not even our pigs would eat them.

And we, indeed, were wondering what people would grow such a tree for. Then three years ago, fall was really warm, summer’s final thunderstorms lasted until end of September, and first frost arrived late, by the end of October. I walk past that tree every time I feed my ducks, so I happened to look at it and I spotted its fruits having changed color from dark brownish green to somewhat yellowish, even a little reddish.

They were ripe, first time ever!

Kitchen Tips for Using Common Medlar

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