Monday, November 26, 2012


Two Mayhaw trees
While some people were out on "Black Friday" and all this weekend shopping for the latest TV or game system, I was prowling the garden centers looking for a good deal.  It's a great time of year for the end of season clearances at nurseries and garden centers.  Well, while looking at one local nursery, I found these!  They are "Mayhaw Trees".  I've been wanting one for the farm ever since we first thought about having fruit trees.  When I saw them, I ended up buying both of the trees they had left because two together were cheaper than just one was originally.  These are nice size too, about 5 feet tall.

Mayhaw, for those unfamiliar, is a fruit tree native to the Southern US.  It's a relative of the Hawthorne tree and is covered in thorns.  In May, it produces small red fruits that are not unlike cherries in size, shape and color.  They can be made into wine, syrup, and most importantly, jelly.  I've had a jar of Mayhaw jelly and let me tell you, it's wonderful.  Unfortunately it's not widely available because the trees are not as common as they once were.  Urbanization has eliminated much of their natural habitat and the thorns make mass production harvesting a bit more difficult.  But that won't deter me!
Mayhaw tree
Here's what I hope to have in a couple of years.  As you can see, it will be a nice size tree and, hopefully, will produce loads of fruit like the tree below.

I had a happy Black Friday weekend shopping experience, getting something for our future self sufficiency and best of all, no crowds!  How about you?

Mayhaw fruit

I found this photo after searching online for a picture of what homemade Mayhaw jelly looks like and here it is.  It's a beautiful coral color.  I certainly hope we can create the same thing in a couple of seasons.
Mayhaw jelly in jars, photo courtesy of: Georgia Agribusiness


Tonya @ My Cozy Little Farmhouse said...

Awesome! And I would love to have some mayhaw jelly! (hint hint) lol

Frugal Living UK said...

Very nice, Mayhaw jelly sounds interesting, I wonder what it tastes like. So great to have the space to plant whatever trees you fancy!

Kirk Dale said...

Mayhaw - now that sounds interesting. We sometimes call Hawthorn 'May' especially in the Spring time when the blossom comes out. So Mayhaw is a combination of the two names for the Hawthorn. I like that.

There was no Black Friday for us so no shopping experience and the shops are closed on Sunday anyway. However . . . The Christmas Markets have started here in Germany so we are happy.

One more thing: You are inspiring us with your self sufficiency. That is something that my partner and I have spoken of but meanwhile you are making it happen! It will be a little while yet before we get started but we will get there eventually.


Janie said...

My grandmother used to talk about mayhaw jelly but I never knew what it was. How cool. And you'll have two trees? Neato! Keep us posted, and if you should ever want to sell a jar or two of jelly, let us know, hahaha.

1st Man said...

Ha, I hear ya! Probably a couple years down the road but I'll remember!! Or if I forget and have a post about the first jars of mayhaw jelly, remind me! LOL!

1st Man said...

I would describe it as a sort of cross between and apple and a pineapple, or maybe mango? It's different and very good. I think they can be eaten raw/fresh but I think it's better when made into jelly or wine. We'll see in a couple of years! ;-)

1st Man said...

Now that's interesting!! yes, they bloom in the spring and fruit in May. So i guess it is a combination of "may" and "haw" for hawthorne.

Yes, i'm afraid black friday is an American exercise in 'excess', if that makes sense. I stay away from the chaos. Heck, most of my shopping is already long done and what isn't will be homemade later.

Thanks for the kind words. We are far far from our goal but getting the land was the first step and working on the house from the inside (getting it liveable) was the second step, now working the land is the next phase so we can have our garden going next Spring. I'm humbled by those bloggers that ARE living the dream, Jane at Hardwork Homestead and Dani at Eco Footprint come to mind immediately. Off grid, solar power, the works, they are doing a great job. We'll get there eventually. I might not get us totally off the grid, but I'll do what we can and any little bit that gets us a bit more self sufficient is worth it. :-)

1st Man said...

I hope we'll have something great one of these days (years, ha). Our goal is to eventually sell some stuff we make/grow at the farm so you just might see some jelly and jam (mayhaw and otherwise) for sale up on the products for sale tab. :-) Thanks for stopping by!

alphonsegaston said...

What a beautiful little tree! I love hawthorns anyway, and these large fruits are cool. I have never made jelly--too complicated--just jam.

kymber said...

i love trees but trees that bear edible fruit are my favourite! i have never seen a mayhaw, but they sure are beautiful! i am sure that because you were looking for them, and then found them, that they will thrive on your property! and yes - i will be expecting a jar of jelly - teehee!

your friend,

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Please add me to the "list" for these gorgeous gems!



1st Man said...

I hope these two look as nice as that one in the picture, ha. I've made jelly (not with mayhaws of course) a few times and it isn't as easy as jam that's for sure, ha.

1st Man said...

Thanks! Trees are great but you're right, anytime we can get something off them and eat, that's just like free food! I am going to have to start a list huh? LOL! I never thought about it, whatever put me in that spot at that time, maybe it was meant to be and we'll have a bumper crop in time! :-)

1st Man said...

Ha! I'm creating a list as we speak! :-)

SadWings Raging said...

Just had some mayhaw jelly on some biscuits and MAN is it good! Jelly is more an apple jelly color but it sure ain't apple jelly. Looking for mayhaw trees to buy and ran across this sight.

1st Man said...

Hello and thanks for stopping by!! Isn't it great? I had some a couple years ago and wish I could have some more. You're right, it's taste is so different. I'm hoping that our trees make it. I just need to get them through this long hot summer and I think we'll be over the hump. I wish I could direct you somewhere that has them. I got ours at a local nursery. I just sort of stumbled across them. Good luck!