My Papi told me this morning that there are pear trees in France that are over 900 years old that are still producing an abundant and sustainable crops of Anjou Pears . Pomme fruit trees (apples and pears) are living miracles and seemly last forever if they are well cared for. At Mt. View Orchards we have trees that are over 100 years old and we have an apple tree in my parent's front yard that is over 130 years old. Our loyal trees were here before us and will long out live us. Lately, I have been believing that the orchard doesn't truly belong to me, but more like I belong to the orchard. I am just one of its many care takers in a long line up of generations and generations to come.
I've always enjoyed stories where authors like J.R.R Tolkien created characters like, Treebeard, a tree like being who was the Shepherd of the Trees in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Treebeard is described as very tall and stiff limbed, with bark-like skin and leafy hair, like most Ents. Treebeard took a long to make up his mind. He repeatedly spoke of not being hasty. Growing up on my families multi-generation orchard I have always felt like our tree's were my dear friends, my favorite tree houses and my protectors. I have fond memories climbing and perching on a limb and reading books like the "Little House on the prairie," series while leaning against a sturdy limb in the golden delicious apple tree.
As a child, I attempted many times to design and draw out what it would look like to build a tree house similar to the Swiss family Robinson's Epic home. It would be a total dream come true for me to live in the tree tops, surrounded and hugged by a tree. I haven't given up on this dream and wonder if I will ever be able to create something like this for me on the orchard one day? I am a tree hugger and feel a lot of protective love for the fruit trees on our small family farm. My parents, grandparents and great grandparents were all care takers and nurturers of our land, trees, soil and animals. Generation after generation of land loving farmers. Caring for our HOME.
Apple, cherry, peach, apricot, pear and plum trees all originate from the hardwood forests of Eurasia/Asia. They are in the rose family (Rosaceae) and are temperate zone deciduous, requiring four distinct season in order to thrive and actively produce fruit. Last night, as I was walking around the perimeter of the orchard with a friend, discussing our days and praying a blessing over my families land and trees. The sound of the Hood River Middle Fork river was roaring behind us. The rapid flow of the water was pushing over river rocks and powerfully rushing down to the Columbia. Again, I found myself exclaiming, "thank you," for this abundant and natural source of irrigation water coming down from our majestic Mt. Hood. I am grateful for the four distinct seasons in the Hood River Valley and for rich an abundant volcanic soil. I know I am in my first year of farming and that I have so much to learn in this journey but I find myself again overflowing with gratitude today for the collaboration that we have with our fruit trees. A faithful friendship I have been lucky enough to know my whole life. xoxo your grateful farmer