And I love it.
Since this is a series about the top ten things that make me happy, I didn't really feel that I could include "living in San Diego" on the list. (Because that's more of an experience.)
There are many things that I have as a result of this experience, however, and that includes all of the fruit pictured below.
|Clockwise from upper-left: white wine grapes, red plums, red wine grapes, green pears|
|Clockwise from upper-left: lemons, unripe peaches, unripe red table grapes and oranges.|
Needless to say, all of that fruit makes me very happy.
And it's pretty remarkable when you consider that, from the front, ours is a typical suburban tract home:
Step out back, however, and it's a little like stepping into an orchard. We have lemon, lime, orange, red plum, and peach trees. (And our very generous neighbors have apple, pear and Loquat trees.)
We also have a small vineyard consisting of 50 grape vines. We have red and green table grapes and a variety of red and white wine grapes--enough to produce two hundred bottles of wine.
(A little side note: we have never actually made wine but the woman who owned the house before us used to make it in the coat closet. No lie, my winter coat smelled like a nice Cabernet for the first year we lived here.)
Apparently wine-making is a bit labor-intensive. This surprised me because I have vivid memories of my Uncle Frank stomping grapes in the backyard of his Staten Island home. (And Uncle Frank was not a complicated man.) The wine-making books I've checked out make it sound a lot more difficult, though, and they recommend lots of pricey equipment. Despite this, I would love to make wine, or at the very least find someone who would make it for me. One year I went so far as to put an ad on Craig's List offering the grapes free to anyone who wanted them. All I asked for in return was a bottle of the wine. I didn't get any takers. If you're local, and you know an amateur vintner looking for some grapes, please leave me a comment or send me an email.
Because a bottle of wine made out of grapes from my very own backyard vineyard? Now that would totally make the top-ten list..