Gone. Apples, apple pie, apple crisp, applesauce.. all gone.
I literally felt sick when I found this toppled over little apple tree. It was so bad I had to turn around and walk back out of the garden, gather some courage, then walk back up to see if it was real. It was real and we were just heartsick.
What's the big whoop over one little tree? Well. We got that little tree, a heritage apple called Grimes Golden, the first spring we were at this property. Which means it's about five years old and this was the first season that it fruited. It was perfect. A perfect little tree with perfect little fruit - and it perfectly blocked out the stupid neighbors house. And there it lay in a perfect heap with absolutely zero chance of being saved. Completely broken off at the base.
The first year it fruited and now....we have to start all over again.
I tell you the truth, the Scriptures are correct when they say that there is nothing new under the sun and that the curse is still in effect. Everything you seek to control will rebel against you and your work will be hard. Nothing makes this more clear than farming.
In my former life I didn't fail at anything. I was always above average and could point to my markers of success. Here. For heavens sakes, here my character has been so strengthened by failure that I am now a shining example of humility.
I'm so used to failure that we have a little cheer out in the barnyard for it. I dress Nibbles up in a little pleated skirt and a sweater with "OFG" on the front, hand her some pompoms, and she leads us in this rally:
Nibbles: What are we gonna get today?
Nibbles: What do we control?
Then Nibbles awkwardly does the splits and the rest of us all trudge of to work knowing that our success is measured in who didn't die that day and that we absolutely do not control anything we do. It's very humbling.
It's very hard to explain to your city friends why losing one little apple tree actually made you put your face in your hands and cry. What's the big deal? Just get another one - right? Or worse, they ask, why don't you just go and buy apples from the store?
That's kind of not the point.
It's the time, the energy, the hope of seeing that little tree flower every spring and think, 'Is this the first year I'm going to get a harvest?' It's the joy of finally having a little orchard that you created with your own hands. Not to mention that little tree was finally blocking that stupid house next door.
Nibs benefited from my crushed dreams.
It took me three days to walk up there with my tools and start to cut up that little tree. But, as farming goes, the perfect little circle of life kept spinning. I took the branches down to Nibbles and the rest of the goats. They loved the leaves and the bark from those little branches. Later we'll get the trunk cut up, let the wood age, and then the next time I smoke bacon it will be applewood flavored. So nothing is truly lost to the farm - it just keeps the cycle going.
Daisy got in on the action too.
When I moved the trunk from its final resting place you can imagine my surprise when.... I found a single little offshoot. It was about as tall as me and snapped bolt upright when it was freed from being pinned. It may not have been much - and I don't know if it was rootstock or a true Gimes Golden treelet... but it gave me hope. And at least I don't have to start at the absolute beginning. At worst we'll have a nice little shade tree and that is just fine too.
Look what sprung up!
Maybe that new little tree will gain some strength and grow..... and next spring it could be full of hopeful blossoms. Then we'll wonder, "Is this the first year I'm going to get a harvest?"
Until then we'll remember that this is nothing new under the sun, all work is hard, and we control absolutely nothing.
Happy Wednesday everyone! Is there anything new under your sun, is your work hard, and are you in control of anything?