The stronger the root, the more the fruit.

If you look at the fruit and not at the root the tree dies.

I have such good memories of growing up on a farm.  There was always something growing that would produce fruit.  We had a garden and lots of apple trees in the orchard.  We had livestock like cattle, chickens and hogs.  The land produced a whole bunch of things that we used as food.  I loved the garden.  I used to go out with a salt shaker and sit in the middle of it picking and eating green peppers and tomatoes.  I couldn’t wait for harvest time.  We could walk out to the orchard and pick an apple right off the tree if we wanted a snack.  We could go to the grape arbor for grapes which we ate green sometimes, not a good idea.  It was a great way of life but required a lot of work from everyone.

I remember the day that I looked across the road at my grandparents garden and saw a yellow bulldozer piling up the apple trees into a giant tangled heap.  I was kind of shocked.  I didn’t know what was going on.  The life we lived at the time was filled with life producing things like the orchard and now it was just a big pile of brush.  

I can remember asking my dad what was going on, why were they bulldozing all the trees down and he said, “Orchards are just too much work, and Grandma and Grandpa can’t take care of it like they used to.”  It was kind of a turning point in our family.  That was the time that things started to change.  It was simply much easier to go to the grocery store and buy a can of peas rather than can yourself.  It is a lot of work to produce fruit.  You have to plant, fertilize, water, spray and weed the orchard all the time.  If you’ve ever grown a garden, you know the same rules apply.  You can’t have a crop without the work.  

Planting season is very intense because you only have a limited time to get your seed in the ground.  If the conditions aren’t right it makes planting very difficult.  You want to plant at a time and in the conditions where your seed will germinate, and take root.  The stronger the root, the more the fruit.  Apple trees have big root balls that hold them in place in the worst of weather.  The wind can blow but they stand through it.  Fall would come and the apples would ripen.  It was an amazing cycle to live in.  

The houses were set up to preserve the fruit all winter long.  My Mom and Grandmas would can all the fruits and vegetables that the garden and orchards produced from green beans, to pears and plums.  From tomatoes to carrots to peaches and cherries. One of the treats we enjoyed was when my Grandma would send me down to the root cellar to get a jar of fruit for dessert.  We really didn’t have sweets like now so the fruit was our treat.  

Everything had to work together to produce the harvest and get us through the harsh Ohio winters.  We prepared together and enjoyed the fruit of our labor when fruit couldn’t be produced.  The whole system was designed to get us through the hard seasons.  We had bushel baskets of apples in the cellar that would last still Spring and we never went hungry.  The foundation for survival was in place and operated at top efficiency.

It took years and a lot of work and resources to get that system in place.  It might take a while for you to get your system of growth and production in place but it’s worth it when you start producing fruit that sustains you through the harsh seasons of life.  Everyone has rough seasons in their life.  But if you have your roots down deep in the soil and add the other elements that cause growth, you will stand.

Roots are just a plant’s foundation.  The deeper the root, the stronger the tree.

Tim Tracy

Cabin Fever Coffee Shop, 312 Clinton Street, Defiance, OH, 43512