I have been working on our orders for 4 varieties of apple trees (honey crisp, sweet sixteen, red Jonathan, early harvest), 2 Keifer pear trees, 2 cherry trees (Montmorency, early Richmond), 2 apricot trees (Moorpark, Manchurian), 6 blueberry bushes (blue crop, duke, Jersey), 6 raspberry bushes (Latham, brandywine), 6 blackberry bushes, (Darrow, prime ark), 2 English walnut trees. We will also receive a few free gifts with our orders such as 10 blue spruce, 2 lilac bushes, and 1 red maple. I realize that 43 trees and bushes would be significant overkill for most property owners. But, we live on the Montana prairie where the only trees one will find are those specifically planted by property owners. We also have a very spacious 25 acre yard providing plenty of room for as many trees as we'd like. Our property does have a 1 1/2 acre wood lot consisting of mostly old growth cottonwood and Russian olive trees that Mr.B has been working on thinning the past 2 summers. It is definitely time to bring in some new growth and other species. I LOVE the concept of edible landscaping thus, we have mapped out where we will plant each tree/bush.
Looking forward to the day when our trees and bushes are producing fruits, berries and nuts makes me consider the Biblical concept of sowing and reaping with increase. Luke 6:37-39 tell us, "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." Many folks understand the principal of sowing and reaping with increase but lack the persistence and patience to see this wondrous blessing fully cycle in their lives.
Sowing and reaping with increase is not only a Biblical principal, it is also a universal law. For instance, one tomato seed can produce a tomato vine that in turn produces up to 50 pounds of tomatoes with each one of those new growth tomatoes containing more than 100 seeds for even more production! Because this principal is not only Biblical but universal, it works for every single person regardless of his/her belief system. If, I as a Christian plant tomato seeds, I will reap a harvest of tomatoes. If my neighbor is an atheist and he also plants tomato seeds, he too will reap a harvest of tomatoes.
Within the same principal, what we sow will also be what we reap. It is foolish to expect a harvest of bell peppers or squash from tomato seeds. Tomato seeds produce tomatoes, pepper seeds produce peppers, and squash seeds produce squash. This realization should make us, mankind, aware of our words and actions. If we are sowing seeds of encouragement, generosity, forgiveness, peace, kindness, etc. then, in time, we will reap a harvest of the same. However, if we sow seeds of greed, criticism, strife, etc., then we should fully expect to reap an abundant harvest of the same.
As mentioned above, I believe that most folks understand and grasp the sowing and reaping with increase principal but they lack persistence and patience. Many will give time and money to causes they deem worthy only to loose the commitment and return to selfish ways because the harvest doesn't seem to come soon enough. Harvests do not sprout, grow and produce overnight. In my vegetable garden, depending on the plant, I must wait 45 to 120 days before I will see any harvest. With our fruit, berry and nut orchard we will have to wait an average of 5 years before we begin to see any significant return on our "investment". But, with patience and the continued investment of maintenance, we will eventually reap more fruits than our singular family will be able to consume. That is when we, out of abundance, will be blessed and honored to share our bounty with others.
Because I've been gardening for a long time the principal of sowing and reaping is often at the forefront of my thinking . I pray, you, my dear readers, will keep in mind that as you sow seeds throughout your life, harvests will not only come in due season, but continue for generations to come.