Under the Pi Pa Tree

I’m sitting under the pi pa tree observing hundreds of yet to ripen fruits. I wonder what pi pa jam tastes like? It was just this season that I learned what this fruit tree was called. Pi pa or “loquat”. I’m guessing it’s in the kumquat family, but to be sure it would require more research than I’m inclined to do at this moment. If these were apples I’d know what to do with all the abundance. There is apple pie, apple sauce, apple cider, and more apple pie (of course). Hmm. I wonder what pi pa pie would taste like? I like the alliteration of it anyway.

Below the pi pa tree is a new addition. A little well to bring water up to serve the garden. With all the flowers we are using much more water than we used to and it is quite noticeable in our water bill. I’m also hoping that the well is a more sustainable option than sourcing the water from the city (we have solar panels so the extra electricity for the pump is compensated for). We shall see how the experiment goes.

It’s quite amazing to have so much greenery surrounding me in this city of millions where most homes are apartments. The city itself has plenty of gardens and parks — it’s quite good in that way, but the idea of having a private garden is rare.

We purchased this house back in the late 90’s when it was just being constructed on a plot of land surrounded by farm fields at the outskirts of Shanghai. The way things worked back then was that you basically get a lease on the land (50 years in our case), you pay the builder for the construction of the unfinished building, then you hire another builder to do the home finishing to your personal design.

Everything was done by cash then. I still remember carrying a large suitcase full of stacks of 100RMB bills (about the equivalent of US$8 at the time) to the purchase. So surreal. It was about two-years of my salary. Not a small amount of money but very reasonable to be able to purchase a home.

We celebrated our first Christmas in the house in 1999, but it wasn’t long before we relocated to the US and the house was empty for about a decade (it was not a renters location). When we moved back to Shanghai in 2013, the city had expanded and we were now solidly in the suburbs. Now there is a metro station being built within a 10-15 minute walk from our place, so I expect the development to accelerate even faster. Who knows we may have one of the few villa’s in Shanghai proper after another ten years. They’ve stopped giving construction permits for villas so its a real possibility.

I’ll be retired by then. Maybe I can open up a little stall to sell all the extra ripe fruits from our pi pa tree? Or, pi pa pie for that matter.

Under the Pi Pa Tree

Be well,



  1. murisopsis says:

    I like loquats – I’ve had them canned. I bet they would be delicious as a jam or in a pie!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Monty Vern says:

      Cool!!! I’ll have to try the pie then 🙂


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