Homesteading For The Future

Apple Tree

Apple Tree- planted 3 years ago

As we planted a pomegranate tree that my grandma gave us today, I wondered, as I always do, how long it will be before we see any fruit from that tree. Assuming it survives, of course. And a thought came to mind that has been reasserting itself to me quite often lately, that is the realization that a good portion of the work we have been pouring ourselves into over the past four years will probably be more for our children than for us.

Sure, the garden and animals provide for our immediate needs, but the fruit trees, the berry bushes, the grapevines, all of these things will take many more years of growing before they are mature enough to provide any substantial amount of fruit.

I am reminded of this every time I look out of my kitchen window at the apple trees we planted three years ago. I guess I figured we’d have a larger tree by now, but they have only in the last year begun to really take a growing spurt. I can tell just by their size it’ll be a long way down the road before I’m able to get enough apples to put up for the winter. Although both trees have produced a couple of blooms last year and the year before, I picked them off as it is recommended to do the first three years, so we haven’t had any fruit yet.

There have been a lot of learning curves which have set us back as well. Since we started this place completely from scratch, we’ve had to experiment with the best location for certain plants, and have done a lot of digging up and moving of trees, bushes and vines, hoping for better results in a different part of the yard. Every time we transplant something the roots of the plant need to get reestablished, and its energy goes into that instead of setting fruit.

It’s funny though. I don’t find the wait the least bit discouraging. Because I know we are investing in our children’s futures as much as our own, and we are teaching them the importance of these plants so that they will appreciate their abundance as they grow into adults themselves.

I envision my grandchildren coming to visit, and strolling with me around the yard, picking ripe blueberries from the bushes, and gorging themselves on fresh grapes from the vines. I dream of canning bushels of apples and pears with my daughters, and maybe even my daughters-in-law, and being filled with the satisfaction that all of our hard work has finally paid off.

If I knew we would never have a chance to enjoy the yields of what we’ve invested in around our property, if I knew I wouldn’t live long enough to see the beauty of ripening fruit all around, I would still continue to plant. Because I don’t know what the future holds, and if I can do something now to ensure that my children have food in the years ahead, I’ll plant as much as I possibly can for their sole benefit.

Every dollar we spend on improving our land, every back breaking day we work to make a sustainable home, is an investment in the future. If not ours, our children’s. And that makes it all worth while.

… Having said all that, I totally plan on Jerry and I growing very old here and living long enough to completely enjoy the labor of our youth. I’ll be 90 years old, with a long, white braid down my back and soft wrinkles that only come from years of laughter. I’ll walk slowly, and bend gingerly, but I’ll still be out in the garden tending my plants every Spring.

And so, we’ll continue homesteading for our future, and for future generations. Because you never know what’s in store.

Kendra
About Kendra 1123 Articles

A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.

17 Comments

  1. You youngins, why you talk as if you are older than me and we both know I am 20 years your senior. You don’t realize how wise you are at starting this walk with the land as you did in your 20’s. I am still planting trees not only for my children and grandchildren, but Lord willing for myself too. The fruit that is gleamed and lessons learned by your children while planting the trees is far more important than any fruit it may give you to eat.

  2. You are so right!! I have told my children many times that this is their future. Our land is their inheritance where ever that land might be.
    I hope to be right there in my old age too. Long white braid (white hair is wisdom according to the bible and a good thing 🙂 heading out to play in the dirt and going to see what Matt is doing out on his tractor 🙂
    Thanks for the reminder of what we and who we are working for.

  3. This is a great post! I truly believe that this is what is meant by the Bible verse about a good man leaving an inheritance for his children’s children. It’s a wonderful legacy of counter culture behavior that you are showing your family about hard work and reaping the benefits instead of the instant gratification the world is consumed with.

  4. Kendra, all that I can say about the way you wrote about your hope for the future was absolutely beautiful. It made me cry :). Thank you for blessing us with your very thoughtful words. They are encouraging because it does get overwhelming at times. We must press on………….

  5. You’ve made me curious, love to see a current pic of the apple trees. I was thinking one could save $3 a week and have enough in one year to buy a bigger, ready to fruit tree. In 5 years that is 5 fruit trees, a small orchard even.

    Since we don’t have all the gold in California, I’ve break things down in little, itty, bitty steps so I can get the things I want. You must not of brought any gold with you either! 🙂

    • JulieG,

      I’ve updated the article with a current photo of our largest apple tree. They were both devoured by our goats that first year, but this one has done the best. It’ll look better in Spring when it has leaves on it, lol. You can’t tell very well by the photo, but it’s about 9 ft. tall now. The other apple tree is about 6 ft. tall. They’re coming along 🙂

  6. I’ve planted fruit trees at every home we own, and we always seem to move just as they start to bear fruit. I’ve gone by the old places to see that the new owners cut them down. 🙁 But I’ve learned a lot along the way and those lessons are very valuable too.

    We moved into our current home almost 3 years ago and I planted apples, peaches, pears, plums, cherries, grapes, currents, blueberries, and more. I hope to actually be able to use the fruit from my trees this time. 🙂

    Strawberries are a great fruit for tiding us over as we wait for the trees to bear 🙂

  7. The apple trees you have look like about 2 years old at the most. You can buy fruit trees ready to fruit but they cost more, about $150. Might be worth it to have fruit.

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