I guard and document a collection of over 280 decaying apple cores that were consumed between 2006 and 2008, and one pumpkin that was aquired in 2014. Over the years, many of the apples have fallen victim to moth attack and have turned to dust. Others have miraciously survived and now reside in a small jar on my shelf. In an attempt to kill moth larvae, I once put some of the cores in the oven, and then promptly forgot about them until billows of decaying smoke filled my kitchen. Those surviving cores, known as The Black Collection, now occupy a fond place in my heart. Other cores survived the insectan onslaught through a process of freezing and dehydration. A bag of fragile stems once remained in the freezer for over three years, as did a small selection of my favourite cores. Unfortunately, those cores were lost after a ill-conceived apartment move left them exposed to a barrage of hungry frugivores.
Guarding fragile organic matter is akin to child rearing in that it requires patience, dedication and an acceptance of loss and betrayal. This is something that those who have not cared for a slowly rotting piece of fruit will never understand.