Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Harvest season is here, and we are beginning to enjoy the first fruits of our orchard. 

We have a vision for our farm: our home surrounded with a verdant and edible landscape. Our own little paradise, growing and maturing for our children and grandchildren to enjoy. 

Thanks to Clay's hours of research (two favorite books are permanently housed on his nightstand: Landscaping with Fruit and Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden) and more hours planting and watering and pruning, we are off to a good start. We have essentially started from scratch: cutting down the old elm trees in the yard and replacing them with oaks, dogwoods and fruit trees. We even have our own grapevines and fig trees....

For every man 'neath his vine and fig tree, shall live in peace and unafraid. 

It is exciting to receive boxes of baby trees in the mail, such fresh beginnings and grand plans! And then the realization sinks in: the fact that it will be 3-5 years before that tiny little plant will yield an acceptable crop, if it lives. And those spindly oak trees will just start to reach their prime when we are toddling along behind our grandchildren. It is easy to start wishing that we could just enjoy it right now. Instant gratification, yes please.

Yet these little trees and bushes help remind me to keep the right perspective. It is good to plan and work and develop beauty and a heritage for our children. And what a special moment, discovering the first tiny apples on the apple trees. We have planted and nurtured and protected these trees, and the first fruits of the harvest are beginning to ripen.

And it's not just fruit trees that we are growing on our farm. The little children running around barefoot in the grass are growing and maturing as well. How much more nurturing and training and protecting they require, and how much greater can be the harvest, and how sweet the fruit!

Margaret and William both planned and cared for their own little garden plots this year (with a little help). They both chose to grow watermelons....and that took up their whole plot. Margaret's watermelon was the first to ripen, and there are three more beauties waiting on the vines. She is so proud of her harvest, and it was so fun to watch her tending her plants. My heart swelled on seeing her sheer exuberance upon the discovery of a tiny watermelon swelling on the vine, and how she impatiently checked for signs of ripeness every day.

They too are learning the importance and joy of growing a harvest.

The land yields its harvest;
    God, our God, blesses us.
May God bless us still,
    so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.
-Psalm 67: 6-7


  1. "I will bless you and you shall be a blessing".... I love seeing this ring true in your lives, Elissa & Clay!

    Beautiful, just beautiful.

    I'm so glad I get to be walking this road alongside you, even if we are a bit of a road trip away! It's exciting to see what God's doing in your lives and the ideas, resources, inspiration, and dedication He's giving you both - and to see evidence of His character in your kids, as well!

    It's a joy to read your blog and know that good things are sprouting up, in many shapes & sizes :)