Well, I have a giving tree too. It is a kumquat tree. I love it. My entire family loves it. Seriously, I think it's leaves wave at me as I walk by each day.
Twice a year, it gives us the most delicious kumquats in the world.
When we moved in, the tree was smaller than my youngest child, and today it just about towers over our house, its boughs heavy with gorgeous fruit.
I have a deal with the tree. Every day I leave my house, walk past my wonderful tree, and take one of its kumquats. I say a blessing before eating the fruit, and then I say, "Thank you, tree." That makes both the tree and me very happy.
The kumquat tree usually gives two seasons of fruit - around Rosh Hashana and around Purim. I use the delicious little golden eggs in my Purim Mishloach Manot (food bags). This year the kumquats are ready early - possibly because of the warm winter. And so the kumquats have been hanging on my tree screaming, "We don't care if it's not Purim. Pick us. Pick us."
So, because this tree must be picked, my husband and I decided to have a Charity Kumquat Harvest. Anyone who wanted to pick could come with their children and a check for a local charity.
The harvest was yesterday. The kids had such a fabulous time. The mothers too. I wasn't home to photograph it, but after watching a few families laughing and adoring our tree, my husband remembered his camera and took some pictures.
Everyone really enjoyed harvesting the tree, searching for the perfect orangey ovaly sweet kumquates. They ate kumquats, they puckered up their mouths from the sweet-tart taste and then ate another, they picked them to take home, and they gave checks to feed the needy of our area.
So, the giving tree keeps giving. What a blessing!
PS - I thought that the tree more or less finish with its kumquats, but the giving tree keeps giving and we've got more room for another harvest. If you'd like to participate, you're welcome to come with your kids and a check made out to the Kimcha D'Pischa charity of your neighborhood.
Photos by Israel Katz.