Journey of An Orchard

kathy H's garden

In 2007 we decided to grow more of our own food. We already had a large garden but we wanted fruit trees and berry bushes as well. There was only one drawback. We knew that trees would likely not bear fruit for a number of years. As I was in my late 50’s and Bruce already in his early 60’s, we wondered if the investment in time, energy and money was really going to be worth it. However, as we truly believe that the highest form of stewardship of the land is to plant trees we did it anyway. I turned 63 yesterday and had a blueberry cheesecake topped with the berries we planted way back then. And for his 70th birthday, Bruce has requested peach cobbler made from our very own peaches.

A lot of time and planning went into this special cobbler. The land had to be cleared

Pull down the highest apples, peaches or pears from the safety of the ground.

Pull down the highest apples, peaches or pears from the safety of the ground.

and the holes dug. The soil was amended and a watering system set up. The trees were purchased along with a number of necessary tools. Those little sticks didn’t look like much for a few years. Then one day we realized that the funny looking, cleared patch of soil looked a lot like something else. It looked like an orchard.

That orchard now bears real fruit. Apples and peaches, pears and plums, the fruit fills bushels and baskets and feeds us fresh fruit with juice that drips down or chins as we slurp the goodness on a hot August afternoon. In the winter, the jars of preserved jams and juice and sauces sparkle like jewels on my pantry shelves.

Can't grow your own fruit? No worries - we made the jam for you. 19 delicious varieties at Lehmans.com.

Can’t grow your own fruit? No worries – we made the jam for you. 19 delicious varieties at Lehmans.com.

I’m eight years older than I was when we decided to plant an orchard. I would have been eight years older whether it was planted it or not but now I’m old and I have fruit. It’s all very good.

Today is a great day for making a plan. Buy that tool, order that canner or clear that lot of weeds and rocks. Time slips by. We might just as well fill the ticking minutes with a legacy of food and beauty.

Kathy Harrison

About Kathy Harrison

Kathy Harrison is the author of Just in Case, Another Place at the Table, and One Small Boat. She is a national spokesperson for both foster parenting and family preparedness and has appeared on The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and National Public Radio. She lives with her family in western Massachusetts.