Friday, June 10, 2016

Little apples.

Summer is heating up fast, a gap in rainfall giving way to a desperate burst of gardening by the stubborn. Rows of tomatoes, corn, beans, and zucchini poke their brave green tops higher and higher, relishing warm days and bearing up under stints of more rain.

What isn't obvious to city dwellers is that from the first crocus to bloom through the snow, it's all battle preparation for a winter not far away on the scales of season balance. The woods and fields hum and buzz with life forms bent solely on procreation. The sum and total of today is labor put forward to make it through tomorrow. And, with luck, a few tomorrows after that. It takes skill; never curse a a farmer with your mouth full.

Beautiful blooms on an apple tree are not the important thing in getting reliable fruit for the labors. More than mere seeds are required: often grafting is the secret to survival.

In the lessons of a poor farmer, solid roots, the precious skill calloused hands know well. All things are related. Little apples come from beloved, healthy trees.

Plant seeds, yes. Also learn to graft. Respect hard work more than pricey window dressings. Do these things with devotion, and the battle is won.