The first jujubes have started to ripen. Just in time.
About three years ago we developed a Ladera Frutal tradition of using the jujube (also known as the Chinese date) as the Rosh ha-Shanah “first fruit.” It is perfect, in many ways. The fruit has some apple-like qualities, but in my estimation, is even better dipped in honey (which really should be date honey) than an apple is.
But more to the point, it always ripens right around the autumnal equinox, and Rosh ha-Shanah (literally “Head of the Year”) is the new moon closest to the equinox. Apples, on the other hand, go practically year around here.
As the photo above makes clear, jujubes grow on trees, and therefore there need be no worries about which bracha is valid.
The crop, of GA866 variety, is a bit light this year, though not quite as light as it appears in the photo. For some reason I took the photo after I had harvested. You can see one ripe fruit (brown) way up high in the tree. There are some light green fruit hanging on other branches; these will ripen into the new year.
Of course, we won’t eat any till after sundown on the first of Tishri!
May the new year be fruitful and sweet!