It’s kiwi time, and the race is on.
Each September as our Hardy kiwis (Actinidia arguta) start to ripen, we begin a delicate balancing act, deciding exactly when to harvest. We want them soft, ripe and sweet, but if we wait too long, many will vanish in the night.
It’s a big job, picking 50 to 60 pounds of the grape-sized fruits, then washing and processing them. (We run them through our juicer and freeze the resulting concentrate for wine-making later on, when we have more time.)
Most of the year we love sharing our property with raccoons, pileated woodpeckers, red squirrels and all the other delightful two and four-legged creatures that live here or visit seasonally. But at kiwi time, we’re a little less charitable. Steller’s jays arrived about a week ago, and over the last couple of days I’ve seen then staking out the kiwi vines – so we’d best get moving fast.