Umami Mart Registry

Yoko and I tagged along with Sylvan of Peko Peko last week to forage for ume (Japanese plums aka Prunus mume). We had been planning this for weeks, going back and forth and patiently waiting for the perfect moment to pick the ume, from a tree in the backyard of Sylvan's friend's home. Yes, we do stuff like this in California. [Dreamy].


This tall, regal, ume tree towered above us over 20 feet high. Good thing we brought two ladders.

I started hearing more about 'foraging' soon after arriving to Oakland. It's still really bizarre to me, the idea of going out and taking fruit and flowers from people's backyard trees. Imagine doing this in the cutty cuts of Brooklyn. HA!

The season for this fruit is incredibly short. If you blink, you might miss them. We needed them to be ripe, but not TOO ripe, as they do need to retain some of the tartness for what we would be making. They are such finicky creatures. Besides, this year with all the dank cold and rain, the tree did not bear fruit as early as usual.

Sylvan climbed the tree, while Yoko and I wobbled atop ladders, and we went to work.

Risking our lives for ume.

Ume, perfect for the pickin.


Yoko, don't fall!!! I say this cause I almost fell off the ladder. You are not surprised.

We literally picked EVERY SINGLE plum off that tree. Hooray!

What will we be doing with these little apricot-like fruit? We'll be making umeboshi and umeshu (plum liqueur). Yoko made umeshu in Tokyo a few years ago, remember?

About eight pounds of ume.


Stay tuned for the pickling!


  • So Berkeley.

    worm on

  • So cool! Can’t wait for the post on the liqueur.

    saaara on

  • Do you have enough supply of red shiso? They look perfect to make umeshu with that green color, but you should put them in paper bag for a couple of days until it ripens a bit more.

    Yamahomo on

  • Would you be interested in selling the green ume?
    Could you ship 5 to 10 pounds to me?
    We can not grow the fruit here in Oregon, and I enjoy making
    ume shu and ume boshi.

    Thank you!

    Todd Wilson on

  • I want to order the ume tree, do you sell trees too? or just ume fruits? I rather purchase the tree but if not available fresh ume fruits are ok too. How can I buy any of them?

    Patricia on

  • -I live in Napa and can’t find any source to make Umeboshi – Would you be up to sharing/trading/selling some fruit this year?

    Ada Smillie on

  • Please would you sell some green plums for me to make ume shu? Later I would like to get start planting the tree here in TN… Do you sell the tree too? Please E mail me back.

    Tomoko on

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