He came to live with us on Labor Day weekend, when we had invited friends over for a barbecue.
“Guacamole and chips!” the kids replied, when asked what we should serve (aside from J’s grilled burgers which are The Best!). So, guac and chips were added to the list, along with corn on the cob, green salad, baked beans … I don’t really remember, this was months ago, and my brain has made room for other things in the meantime.
This is where Avner comes in, along with two or three friends. I don’t remember their names, frankly, they weren’t that impressive. After we had composted their skins and smashed their flesh into yummy creamy guacamole, the seeds were discarded. Perhaps they’ve sprouted up in the landfill somewhere.
But Avner stayed with us. Being children of the 70s, J and I have fond memories of poking the sides of an avocado seed with toothpicks and suspending over the sides of a glass, the seed partially submerged in water. And waiting. And waiting. And changing the scummy water for fresh water. And waiting some more.
This is the fun we wanted to share with our children – lessons about time passing, and patience, and scummy water. (Can you hear the sarcasm here? I was ready to send Avner to the same landfill that his cousins visited, but J remained firm).
Finally, a root appeared at the bottom of the seed. It grew about 5 inches before we noticed the top of Avner had split as well, and a tiny sprout emerged.
Into the pot he went, and he’s been growing steadily. Up, up, up to about a foot tall, with four tiny leaves; J remembers the plant he grew as a kid being about five feet tall (and fruitless). I expect that he’ll keep growing, and I’ll transplant him outdoors in the spring. (oops, misplaced modifier, that’s he, Avner, not he, J).
Of course, a quick visit to Wikipedia tells me the Avner won’t bear fruit unless we cross-pollinate with another avocado (April? Angelina?), or graft a piece from a fruit-bearing plant. We’ll continue to buy our guacamole fixings from the local grocery store, and enjoy Avner’s greenery when we’re out on the patio this summer.
So tell me, friends in warmer climates, can you grow and harvest avocados in your yards, or is that a myth?