In the Spring of 2008, my dad sent me three dwarf fruit trees for my backyard. I planted the two apple trees on either side of the pear tree. Then I began to dream of the fruit I would one day harvest. It takes two years for new trees to set on fruit and I knew that patience was the order of the day.
The first fruit set on on 2010 and I followed my dad’s directions and culled the fruit so that none of the branches would be overloaded. Then, just when I was confident that I would be picking my first harvest, a backyard predator cleared out my crop.
It would be like this for the next four years. The fruit would set on and I’d get excited only to wake up one morning and discover that all of my fruit was gone. I came to expect that my harvest would end up being one lone apple lying under the tree with a bite taken from it. It was disheartening. This summer, I expected the same outcome. As usual, an abundant amount of fruit set on to the apples and pear trees and things looked great.
Even the peach tree, in just its second year in the backyard, looked quite promising.
I didn’t get my hopes up because every year my early crop prospects have ended with some kind of critter disaster. But this year, as the growing season unfolded, things looked promising. Each morning, I held my breath and checked to see that my fruit crops were still on the branches. I held quietly to my hope for an actual harvest.
The peaches were ready first. As I stood at the tree I could smell their musky ripening. After seven years of cultivating the fruit trees, I had my first tree fruit crop! This past Sunday, I picked my crop of peaches. They smelled amazing and tasted delicious.
I feel like my patience has been rewarded. There is plenty of fruit on the apple and pear trees steadily moving toward ripeness. I’m hopeful that actual apples and pears will follow. Time will tell that story; for now I wait. Good thing that I've had all those lessons in patience.