Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell June 17, 2008

I was told one time that when one generation plants a tree and the next generation will chop it down. I was almost offended by the remark as we were cutting trees down for fire wood. But in our defense we were cutting trees that were already dead. When Jim and I moved back home after living in Texas for a couple of years, our home was heated by firewood only. We chopped wood for twelve years. Well, actually, Jim chopped - cut- split- loaded- unloaded- stacked wood. We have a fifty-fifty marriage- He brought the wood in and I burnt it. It was not quite that lopsided but Jim did most of the hard work to keep us warm. The kids got to help their dad out many times. When wood is the only heat that you have - you do not leave home for extended periods of time in the freezing weather unless, of course, you do not mind chopping ice in your toilet or thawing out pipes and all of the other ‘wonderful’ things that goes along with frozen water lines. What reminded me of this was when a friend called me yesterday and was telling me how he would like to plant an apple tree.
When I was a kid growing up we did not have a wide variety of fruit trees but we did have one cherry tree, one mulberry tree, three pear trees and a few peach trees. Come to think about it I guess we did have more than I thought. Living in Kansas you do not get to harvest the fruit every year, which did not hurt Moms feelings. As I have said before mom did not like to can but she was great at freezing peaches. They were so good in the winter, Mom and Dad liked to pour cream over their peaches, I liked mine plain and still a little frozen. Aww-- that was good eatin’. The cherry tree died when I was quite young. We did not use the mulberries for anything. I have heard that some people make jelly out of them. One thing is for sure - the birds really like the purple fruit. I use to eat them until one of my brother’s friends told me that they were not good to eat and that they were full of worms. So I never ate another mulberry. Since he was older and wiser I just knew he would not lead me to believe something that was not true.
Grandma Cary had a crab apple tree but we never used the fruit for anything- with the exception of throwing them at each other. The first good edible apples that I can remember were from the Ray Parcels. They had an apple orchard across the road from their home. Ray and Winnie Parcel were wonderful, kind people and they were delightful to visit. I thought that they would be really neat grandparents and I am sure they were. Now the apple trees have all died out and all that is left are the memories.
The apple orchard that I remember well was the one at Cashes Grove. Bob and Mary Pierce purchased Cashes Grove and made their home there for many years. I was impressed that a tree could produce so many apples. Bob was very proud of his home and the trees. I learned that the deer love apples from Bob and Mary. At that time the deer were not as plentiful as they are now and to see a deer was a treat.
With the prices the way they are now we might be smart in planting some fruit trees and start being a little more self-sufficient.

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