"The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves." - Bill Mollison
Friday, October 9, 2009
There is an old apple grove not too far from where we live. Every year around this time we take our backpacks, hike into that old orchard, and almost always find our fill of these special fruits. They are special to us because in this long forgotten orchard there happens to be over twenty different varieties of apples and even a few pears scattered throughout the meadows. I'm sure that others must know of this place but we have never once run across anyone else picking apples. Nor does it appear that any apples have ever been picked by anyone other than the few black bears that inhabit this area. We have been gathering fruit here for over 10 years now.
These particular apples have an almost perfumy flavor to them, so very unusual.
Unfortunately, a family of beavers has set up camp in the meadows and has managed to flood the grounds around almost a third of the fruit trees so far, many of these are now dying. I suppose the good news would be that I have been saving seeds off these trees for several years now and have many of their offspring growing on my own property. Perhaps some of those trees will compliment our regular fruit trees and eventually produce delicious apples and pears similar to the ones in the flooded orchard.
Small, tart, golden crab apples. We had to wade through almost a foot of water to get to this tree.
Most of the apples we picked are being made into apple sauce as we can't help but bruise them. Between trying to get them out of sometimes 30-40' tall trees and hauling them around on our backs they never do make it home in the best condition. The huge variety of large, crab, green, gold, red, tart, and sweet apples make some of the best sauce. I will happily share this area with the beavers even if it means all the trees will be lost, anything would be better then losing it to another housing development, as we have many of our old stomping grounds. Progress, right?
Fully loaded and heading home with packs full of soon to be bruised apples.
So, for now, we will continue to enjoy these apples and this private place, perhaps we will need to search out new apple picking grounds while patiently waiting for our own little orchard to start producing. Nothing good lasts forever I suppose, we sometimes feel like the animals must, slowly being pushed farther and farther out as we attempt gather wild edibles.
This pear tree is almost 40' tall, and very thorny. I wonder how old it is?
The pears almost look like little apples, very small and very tart. I'll be planting a few of their seeds this fall.
Weary of the world and its illogical ways my wife and I have chosen a path towards self-reliance in all aspects of our lives. Our main focus is on growing and gathering our own food. We hope to use this blog as an avenue to share with and learn from others with similar interests.
The Good Life (click↓)
"To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves." M. Gandhi
"Deep inside everyone of us is a call to the wild. Much of the impatience, discontent or violence around us is due to a lack of opportunity to reconnect with where we came from. For sanity and generosity of spirit, we should be able to witness nature at its unceasing, rejuvenating work." - Abdul Kareem
On Permaculture, Edible Landscaping and Garden Plants
"As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness." - Justice William O. Douglas
First They Came For My Seed..▼
"Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine" - Thoreau
Even while I dreamed I prayed that what I saw was only fear and no foretelling, for I saw the last known landscape destroyed for the sake of the objective, the soil bludgeoned, the rock blasted. Those who had wanted to go home would never get there now.
I visited the offices where for the sake of the objective the planners planned at blank desks set in rows. I visited the loud factories where the machines were made that would drive ever forward toward the objective. I saw the forest reduced to stumps and gullies; I saw the poisoned river, the mountain cast into the valley; I came to the city that nobody recognized because it looked like every other city. I saw the passages worn by the unnumbered footfalls of those whose eyes were fixed upon the objective.
Their passing had obliterated the graves and the monuments of those who had died in pursuit of the objective and who had long ago forever been forgotten, according to the inevitable rule that those who have forgotten forget that they have forgotten. Men, women, and children now pursued the objective as if nobody ever had pursued it before.
The races and the sexes now intermingled perfectly in pursuit of the objective. The once-enslaved, the once-oppressed were now free to sell themselves to the highest bidder and to enter the best paying prisonsin pursuit of the objective, which was the destruction of all enemies, which was the destruction of all obstacles, which was the destruction of all objects, which was to clear the way to victory, which was to clear the way to promotion, to salvation, to progress, to the completed sale, to the signature on the contract, which was to clear the way to self-realization, to self-creation, from which nobody who ever wanted to go homewould ever get there now, for every remembered place had been displaced; the signposts had been bent to the ground and covered over.
Every place had been displaced, every love unloved, every vow unsworn, every word unmeant to make way for the passage of the crowd of the individuated, the autonomous, the self-actuated, the homeless with their many eyes opened toward the objective which they did not yet perceive in the far distance, having never known where they were going, having never known where they came from.