Good crop of cherries.
Some apples ready for picking.

We have an orchard on our little farm. We have several different types and varieties of fruit trees, that have taken over 25 years to get to the level of maturity they are at now – yet we are still never guaranteed a crop of fruit! Once in a while we will get a late freeze that kills most of the blossoms and that means there will be very little if any fruit that year. But in every good year, we have a constant battle with birds and deer who also like the fruit! Just as the cherries are getting ripe, the birds will eat all the cherries in the tops of the trees, and then the deer come at night and eat the cherries in the lower branches! We really don’t mind sharing but they don’t understand the word sharing! (special note: we did get a good crop of cherries this year because we had very few robins due to a bird virus last year that killed many song birds in our area. They are slowly repopulating again and maybe by next year they may be back in full force.) The birds and deer don’t seem to care much about the peaches, so we sometimes have a harvest of them…..same with the pears. But probably many of you already know that deer love apples! If it’s a large crop though, they will mostly eat what’s on the ground and we have plenty with what’s still in the trees. So…..with apples we are happy and so are the deer!

But the grapes are another story. I think the deer like them the most! As soon as the grapes were ripe, the deer would come in at night and devour ALL the grapes! So, this past spring we finally gave up on the grapes…..we admitted defeat to the deer and we tore out all the grape vines. (now we can expand the popcorn patch!)

But even if weather, birds or deer don’t destroy the fruit, there is still a lot of other work that goes into the orchard, especially pruning! When the trees were small, pruning was fairly easy. Now it’s quite a chore to keep up with all the trimming. But that’s all part of maintaining an orchard – if you want to see fruit!

If we are believers in Christ, there should be some other “fruit” evident in our lives. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 (NASB)

As we study God’s Word, the fruit of the Spirit will be become evident to others around us. And just like this story of the “fruit orchard” be patient, because like the mature fruit trees in order to bear fruit, we may expect to go through some “pruning” in our lives also.

Till Next Time…..

2 responses to “THE ORCHARD”

  1. Your gardens and orchard are always so beautiful and a reflection of your hard work. Thank you for this reminder in pruning—we are constantly a work in progress on this earth.

  2. Great story Steve – I can readily picture what you are describing, and it brings it to life! Thanks!

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