Notes from Windward: #69


Windward Fruit

the harvest begins


     September 24, 2009

     In most living (and even non-living) systems there is a time lag--a delay between the completion of one action and the full blown consequences of that action. At Windward, we are stewards of many living systems, and this time delay makes our work challenging, as it can take days, weeks, months or years to be able to see the results of a change we made in a system. Working with fruit trees, is invariably a long term project--it takes years, sometimes decades, for a planted sapling to grow into a fruit bearing tree.

apple blossoms in spring

     About 7 years ago, several plum and apple trees were planted above the main garden. Over the past few years, the trees have begun to bear fruit, but not a very significant amount, enough for snacking but not much else. This year, however, was the first major harvest from the plum trees--we were able to gather upwards of 40 pounds from two trees and it probably would have been closer to 60 if the range cows hadn't gotten to one of the trees first. With these plums we made plum jam, chutney and conserve, and we also dehydrated a batch.

transform into lovely apples

     A few of the apple trees also have a decent sized crop this year. I gathered 5 pounds of apples from one of the earlier ripening trees the other day, and Sarah made a Windward apple pie, the first of many to come, which was most enjoyed by all.

that make a tasty pie

     This type of delayed results is one of the reasons why it is important to be forward-thinking, but also to take joy in the work and process of getting these systems up in running. If we were to just focus only on the results, we would miss the opportunity to celebrate the many smaller successes along the way.

our first strong plum harvest

Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 69