Most of us have been there. We remember the one event, news article, lost job or crisis that pushed us firmly into the “I’ll be ready no matter what” mindset.
Oft-times our conversion leads to a mad rush. We buy buckets of beans, generators, guns, silver, etc…. just in case.
This is a good thing, certainly, but it’s not always sustained. Once the provisions are put away and the Eagles are buried in a jar out back… what next?
As I’ve written before, when I was a child and had my first garden, I never wanted to grow any seeds that took more than a few days to germinate. I carefully read all the packages to make sure those plants would come up fast! After figuring out the germination, I would read the “days until harvest” line. If it was more than a month or two, I put the seeds back.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that this was just the foolishness of youth. The “days until harvest” are eventually fulfilled and they’re worth waiting for. I’ve also come to love fruit and nut trees, along with edible vines, shrubs and long-term vegetables like asparagus and cranberry hibiscus.
The thing is, many folks are still first-graders at heart. Waiting for a harvest is too hard. “I want it now!”
I see this in my nursery. I sell mostly perennial vegetables along with fruit and nut trees. Folks will sometimes come by my booth and poke around, asking me about various trees and how long they take to produce.
“You carry pecan trees? What, don’t they take like 10 years to yield???”
Yes, they can… though you’ll usually get some nuts earlier than that when you buy grafted trees. It takes time to grow pecans; hence part of the reason they have a high market value.
Why should we bother with trees that take a long time to grow? Because it’s the right thing to do.
Well, let’s back up. America got into the mess she’s in because folks quit planning long-term and starting doing what they wanted right now, assuming a future generation would pay for what was coming. Take a look at the Baby Boomer generation, for instance. Their parents bequeathed to them a rich and prosperous nation, albeit one with some structural problems.
They then partied, got naked and did a lot of drugs, smashing the society that had given them such incredible riches and freedom. Now many Boomers have houses mortgaged to the hilt and will have nothing to pass on to the next generation.
Back up even further. In the 1930s, masses of government intervention and new welfare programs were rolled out to deal with a financial crisis. Now many of those programs are utterly bloated and broke because no one really planned for the future in a meaningful way.
Back up further still. The Federal Reserve system was created, putting the monetary system into the hands of a select few, allowing them to inflate away and skim the wealth off the rest of society. A hundred years later we have a currency that’s worth a minute fraction of its previous value… and we have junk metal coinage instead of silver and gold.
Keep going back with me. The War of Northern Aggression forcibly joined the Union together under one Federal Government and tore the Constitution apart, leading directly to the massive centralized government we have today. An unsustainable, freedom-crushing mess is the result.
Anyhow, all that to say: the choices we make now will alter the course of the future. If you plant a fruit tree now, you may not see fruit for a few years… but the eventual result of the action you took will be a large harvest at some point in your future.
Plant fruit and nut trees all over the place, along with perennial vegetables, and eventually you can kiss your annual vegetable gardens goodbye (if you want to; personally, I’d miss green beans).
We don’t know when a crisis will occur. We don’t even know if we’ll be able to keep our properties. Yet planting trees is an act of hope that will almost invariably pay off in the future – even if the fruit is harvested by another family.
Patience means thinking ahead. It means making improvements every day, even when they don’t yield immediate results.
No one got fit overnight… and no one harvests loads of pecans within a year of planting their trees. When you’re older, you’ll really appreciate having trees that take care of themselves rather than plots of corn that don’t.
Have patience and gardening success will come your way. Plant a tree today and you’ll make the future just a little bit brighter.