Grit Blogs > Cultivating a Dream

The Fruit Tree Man

It was the dead of winter. A good foot of snow lay on the ground—the first in over a decade. Tom and I were to meet the forest management guy to look over the property and come up with a plan. Our plan included lowering the property taxes.

We’d never been to the property in the winter. Always when we traveled there, lightening bugs floated on humid summer breezes.

Although the land was bare, we planned and dreamed of what would grow on our farm. Cultivating our dream.

I longed for an orchard because there’s something romantic about it. I pictured myself walking under tall, green trees, heavy with fruit, meeting Snow White’s singing birds. I’d stop, reach up and grab a perfect peach, juicy and sweet. A bird would land on my arm. And I’d smile, knowing God and I had accomplished something extraordinary together.

A bird in a tree 

Anxious to get our orchard growing, we decided to meet a local grower to see if we could plant the trees, water them and then leave them for a few weeks or a month. 

We met the farmer at his place blanketed by snow.

A large man wearing obligatory overalls, he viewed us through the eyes of generations of farming experience. A lens that captured our ignorant enthusiasm.

“So, when you plant the trees, you dig a hole…,” I hoped for detailed information.

“Yep, you dig a big old hole.” His toothpick shifted to the other side of his mouth.

I tossed the proverbial conversation ball back in his court. “And, you water it, right?”

The toothpick shifted furiously. His eyes squinted.

“Yes, ma’am, you do water the trees.”

We’ve held off on the orchard for now. Something tells me we’re not ready for trees and holes and watering.

But one day we will be.

Soon, I hope.

What about you? We’re right in between zones in NC near the VA border. What kinds of fruit trees have worked for you? Any particular brand that holds up better than others?