I like to try out fruit trees like some folks enjoy trying on shoes. So many fruit trees, so little time, and with each success, failure has likely played its part. As with shoes, you don’t ask a loafer to go hiking, or a sandal to play basketball, nor do you ask a fruit tree to grow where it’s not intended nor happy with the elements.
Of all the fruits, I grow, I’d have to say apples and plums are the most adaptable and at home in the maritime Pacific Northwest growing season. So far the tree has withstood heavy winter rains, summer drought, and far-from-optimal conditions for spring pollination, and yet it produced well in its third year here—a year where Mirabelle plums dangled off the branches like little gumdrops looking for a candy dish.
In France, the mirabelle plum enjoys a cult status, and is as welcome a summer treat as sweet corn, peaches and watermelon are in the U.S. The snack-size, freestone plum, not too sweet, not too tart, can be eaten out of hand or used in several culinary iterations: jam, brandy, and baked goods for starters.
Next to a peach or a yellow egg plum, the pint-size Mirabelle plum blushes in comparative size.
I’ve listed some resources regarding the Mirabelle plum, from mail order nurseries to favorite recipes. You may wish to consider one for your backyard orchard.
Mirabelle Plum Nursery Sources (mail order)
Mirabelle Plum Recipes:
- Bottled Spiced Plums
- Easy Plum Tart
- Mirabelle Plum Jam
- Mirabelle Ginger Jam
- Plum Buckle (Almond-Plum Cake)
- Plum Cordial
- Royal Horticulture Society tips
- Fruit Handbook Washington State University
- Pruning your home orchard (Oregon State Univ.)