Brutal Harvest

Its Durian season. Its the second one I've had to deal with and its brutal. As it gets into full swing, up to ten fruits fall a day with a crashing thud. The heavy spiked fruits can be lethal if they fall on you, as one nearly did the other day missing me by a few feet. There is a myth that they fall only at night. Not true, it can be at any time of the day or night.

First thing in the morning, I don a construction hat and head down into the orchard to pick whatever's fallen and keep an eye out through the day for more mainly because fruit lying around attracts thieves. I noticed this the first harvest when fruit I was pretty sure I had seen lying on the ground in the morning was no longer there in the evening. Then I saw the occasional chap climb over the wall to help himself. Durians are expensive nowadays so the temptation to indulge is sufficient to lead one to crime it seems.

After they fall, they don't last very long, no more than two days. I have to either shell them and keep the fruit in the fridge or freezer or they end up in the compost heap. I like durians but I don't love them so after a few days I've had my fill after which I just want to get rid of them. So everyday after that, I play Santa Claus calling in friends and neighbours to come help themselves. Most locals here love durians so the invitation elicits squeals of joy and by the end of each day all the durians go home with very appreciative folk.

I now pick them up and put them straight into a closed garbage can which helps but doesn't completely remove the heavy smell, some would say stench of the ripe fruit that fills the air. This year I've got a better handle on it than I did last year with a lot of ripe and overipe fruit around it was intense. This year, the Rambutans have decided to fruit at the same time and there's a lot of fallen fruit that decomposes adding another wine like odor to the mix.

Not all the trees fruit each time, this year the D24 is really good and there's a classic local or kampung variety that I really like -small fruit with just a few seeds but a nice flavor. Another couple of weeks of this and it'll be over, which I'm quite looking forward to.

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