This is our journal of what we pray is our sojourn of life (Hebrews 11:8-10) along the narrow way (Matthew 7:14), even the old paths (Jeremiah 6:16), submitting to the Bible as a light unto both (Psalms 119:105). It is our prayer that these documented moments in our earthly time benefit whom God might choose to edify, but ultimately that God glorifies Himself through them.

Category: fruit trees (Page 2 of 3)

The Orchard – Summer 2015 – Plums & Peaches

God graciously began to grant fruit to grow from our fruit trees!

I believe these are our first plums from the trees!

First 2015 Plums

Here are more. Often, the wind would blow the trees and drop many of the plums to the ground before they were ripe, so they would ripen off-tree:

More 2015 Plums

That looks yummy! (And they were!)


Here they are on our solar food dehydrator:

Plums on Solar Food Dehydrator

There were a lot more on the trees too, like bundles of grapes. Interestingly though, a couple of days after seeing them like that, they were all gone…nothing…like they had never been there. I’m assuming birds got them, but wow.

But then, it was on to peaches!

More Peaches on Tree

Peaches on Tree

First 2015 Peaches

Bucket of Peaches

And then onto the food dryer for them too. We were getting so many at one point, it was hard to find room on the dryer!

Peaches on Solar Food Dehydrator

And here are almost all of the peaches, conveniently stored away in bite-sized, fruit-roll-tasting morsels!

Dried Peaches

And some extra ones pressure canned on the left, and made into jam on the right!

Canned & Jam Peaches

We are very grateful to the Lord for these gifts! It was so great to be able to walk out to a tree, pick a fruit, and eat it straightaway! We are very thankful.

— David

The Orchard – Winter 2015 – Fruit Tree Pruning

With the growth of the fruit trees the Lord granted in our orchard last year, I figured it was about time I get out there and start to prune some of them, especially the big ones.

And so, I watched a few videos, and here are a few interesting things I learned:

  • Peaches grow on first-year wood
  • The skin of apples actually helps in the photosynthesis process as well as the leaves, which is why it’s important to take out a lot of the middle of an apple tree, to allow the sun in
  • The worst thing you can do with pruning is not get out there and do it.

So, I got out there with the loppers and pruners, and started in.

And here are a couple before and after shots. I noticed that I became a little less timid from the first tree to the latest done: 🙂

Fruit Tree Before Pruning
Fruit Tree After Pruning
Another Fruit Tree Before Pruning
Another Fruit Tree After Pruning

I believe just about all, if not all, of creation has type and shadow in it of spiritual realities. The Bible talks a lot about fruit, and that there must be not only fruit, but good fruit, being beared by ones who take the name of Christ, which evidences good works brought forth in their hearts by the Spirit (Eph 5-22:23 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.“)

Even pruning is discussed in spiritual terms:

John 15:1-2 – “1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

Here is what Puritan commentator Dr. John Gill says about verse 2, which regards two types of people who say they are Christians:

Every branch in me that beareth not fruit
There are two sorts of branches in Christ the vine; the one sort are such who have only an historical faith in him, believe but for a time, and are removed; they are such who only profess to believe in him, as Simon Magus did; are in him by profession only; they submit to outward ordinances, become church members, and so are reckoned to be in Christ, being in a church state, as the churches of Judea and Thessalonica, and others, are said, in general, to he in Christ; though it is not to be thought that every individual person in these churches were truly and savingly in him. These branches are unfruitful ones; what fruit they seemed to have, withers away, and proves not to be genuine fruit; what fruit they bring forth is to themselves, and not to the glory of God, being none of the fruits of his Spirit and grace: and such branches the husbandman

taketh away;
removes them from that sort of being which they had in Christ. By some means or another he discovers them to the saints to be what they are; sometimes he suffers persecution to arise because of the word, and these men are quickly offended, and depart of their own accord; or they fall into erroneous principles, and set up for themselves, and separate from the churches of Christ; or they become guilty of scandalous enormities, and so are removed from their fellowship by excommunication; or if neither of these should be the case, but these tares should grow together with the wheat till the harvest, the angels will be sent forth, who will gather out of the kingdom of God all that offend and do iniquity, and cast them into a furnace of fire, as branches withered, and fit to be burnt.

And every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
These are the other sort of branches, who are truly and savingly in Christ; such as are rooted in him; to whom he is the green fir tree, from whom all their fruit is found; who are filled by him with all the fruits of his Spirit, grace, and righteousness. These are purged or pruned, chiefly by afflictions and temptations, which are as needful for their growth and fruitfulness, as the pruning and cutting of the vines are for theirs; and though these are sometimes sharp, and never joyous, but grievous, yet they are attended with the peaceable fruits of righteousness, and so the end of bringing forth more fruit is answered; for it is not enough that a believer exercise grace, and perform good works for the present, but these must remain; or he must be constant herein, and still bring forth fruit, and add one virtue to another, that it may appear he is not barren and unfruitful in the knowledge of Christ, in whom he is implanted. These different acts of the vinedresser “taking away” some branches, and “purging” others, are expressed by the Misnic doctors

It behooves us to examine whether we bear true spiritual fruit of the Spirit or not.

May He grant us His fruit, which is only brought forth by the work of His Holy Spirit in our hearts; and then may He grant us extra faith, strength of heart, and courage during times of His pruning.

Temporily, we pray for a successful pruning of our fruit trees in the Lord granting us provisions from them, according to His will.

— David

The Orchard – Summer 2014

We thought we’d give a little orchard update, since it’s been a while since our last one from last year.

We have continued the process of laying down around 8 inches of mulch covering the entire orchard area. When my brother, Kevin, visited in April, another thing he helped with, besides the barn loft and moving goat sheds, was helping lay down some of this mulch.

Here he is unloading it from the mulch carrier. One person would unload while the other person dumped, and then we’d switch jobs:

My Brother Kevin Unloading Mulch from the Mulch Carrier

Here he is dumping some mulch around one of the fruit trees:

Kevin Dumping Mulch Around a Fruit Tree

And here he is, apparently having way too much fun! 🙂

Kevin Happily Carting Mulch

Once again, it was really nice to have him here to visit! This is burger lunch at the Owl Drug Store Soda Fountain & Grill downtown Coleman:

David, Susan & Kevin at the Owl Drug Store Soda Fountain & Grill for Lunch

Back in the orchard, these are our first peaches of the year!

First Peaches 2014

Since they all ripened around the same time, we decided to pull them all and dry them on our solar food dehydrator. We ended up with probably 30-35 dried peaches, thanks to the Lord granting them! The dehydrated fruit seems to be able to last for years in jars, as I recently ate some from a couple of years ago, and they’re not too bad!

Peaches Dried Using Solar Food Dehydrator

And here are our nectarines. We had a couple of trees produce them, and since they’ve been ripening so slowly, we’ve just been eating them along the way. In previous years, we’ve had grasshoppers eat them down; but thanks to the Lord not this year.

If you haven’t experienced it before, I can’t tell you how neat it is to walk to one of your fruit trees, grab a fruit, and eat it right there. What a wonderful provision from God!

Nectarines 2014


Up-Close Nectarines 2014

Here are a couple of pictures of the orchard now:

Orchard 2014 in Early September
Another View of the Orchard 2014 in Early September

You can see the difference I believe the mulch has made, by God’s graces, from that last picture vs. a similar one from last year. It is amazing how much the trees have grown just this year! We’ve seen good growth from ones we got fully covered in the Spring time.

2013 Side View of Orchard

Goats love to eat fruit and nut trees. 🙂 Here is their handiwork on the left side of one of our peach trees. I do hope one day to put up a more permanent fence around the orchard, including chicken wire around the bottom to keep the chickens out so we might plant something perennial-ish in the mulch, like maybe sweet potatoes:

Fruit Tree Eaten on the Side by Our Goats

It’s also neat to have trees big enough where God has provided that the birds have a nice little place in which to hang out together. Here’s a little video of them in one of the trees, and them flying away when I got close enough:

We’re so very thankful for the growth of the trees and the provisions the Lord has graciously granted from them!

— David

The Orchard – Fall 2013

I thought we would catch everyone up with how our orchard is doing.

The Lord in His wisdom decided not to grant much this year, except…

These were our first apples I believe we’ve received! We were pretty excited, and they tasted yummy!

Apples from Apple Tree, Fall 2013

Very sadly though, shortly after this, the tree began to wither and died. We pray that spiritually the Lord sustains us by the power of His Spirit so that the same doesn’t occur with us, and that by His Spirit He brings forth much fruit! (Please see John Gill on John 15:2 regarding this.)

We also have pecan trees, and here is one that made pecans this year!

Pecan Tree with Pecans, Fall 2013
Fall 2013 Pecans

These are our first harvested pecans:

Our First Harvested Pecans

And the final haul — 26 in all! We’re thankful to God for granting this provision!

The Full Pecan Haul, Fall 2013

I guess it was last year, we began mulching the orchard, starting around the trees, just to get the process going, and then filling in the rest of the area with mulch starting at the back. Well, over the past several months, I tried to get back to doing that, because it really looked like those trees in the fully mulched areas were growing better than those not in it. And so, here’s how far it’s been filled in:

The Orchard, Fall 2013, with Mulching
Another Pic of the Orchard, Fall 2013, with Mulching

We lost some trees this year, especially the apples, but most stayed with us, thanks to the Lord.

We are once again grateful for these resources, and humbly ask the Lord grant that these trees be fruitful, as we again beseech Him by His graces and mercies for the same about us spiritually.

— David

The Orchard – 2012 Harvest

Orchard 2012 Nectarines on Tree

After last year’s drought, we didn’t really get anything in the way of fruit from our orchard, other than the few I mention in that blog post.

However, this year, the Lord saw fit to grant us quite a few peaches, plums and nectarines!

Here are some peaches cut up on the solar food dehydrator:

Orchard 2012 Peaches Cut Up on Solar Food Dehydrator

And here is some peach jam Sue made, ending up with about 12 1/2-pints worth:

Orchard 2012 Peach Jam

Some time later, the nectarines started coming in. The first picture above and this one are the nectarines:

Orchard 2012 Nectarine Trees

And here are some of them cut up (along with some plums in the bucket), ready for the dehydrator:

Orchard 2012 Nectarines and Plums

And here is some of the dried fruit. We ended up with around three large containers full:

Orchard 2012 Dried Fruit

Sadly, with drought conditions returning this summer, it looks like we’re starting to lose a few of the trees again, even after putting large piles of mulch around them. But, we’ll see how many make it in the end, and we pray for the Lord’s mercies on the rest of the trees, and rains to recover, according to His will.

We’re very grateful to God for granting this perennial food this year, and for allowing us to tuck it away for long-term storage without the use of worldly means of food preservation.

— David

The Orchard – Update II

Orchard Peaches Spring 2010
This Spring we were very excited to harvest our first peach crop! It is still hard for me to believe, having grown up as a city girl, that you can actually grow your own “stuff” and not have to go to the store! Sadly, and as silly as that sounds, it is still such a new concept to me.

We currently have four peach trees in our little orchard; and we were so thankful to see the big, colorful, healthy peaches hanging there, each a gift from God:

Orchard Peaches on Tree Spring 2010

It wasn’t a large harvest, but plenty for us to eat and preserve:

Harvested Peaches in Basket

We cut up and placed some on the solar dryer, which turned out great! They are now in canning jars on the counter to grab when we want a snack:

Orchard Peaches on Solar Dryer

I also found a very easy recipe for canning peaches (I didn’t even skin them, and they came out fine). I also used minimal sugar to create a very light syrup instead of the normal heavy syrup. They were delicious, and I still have a few jars down in the root cellar for winter time:

Orchard Canned Peaches

Lastly, but certainly not least, I have been wanting to experiment with making chutneys; so I found a great peach chutney recipe in the Ball Blue Book of Preserving. I recently mixed it in with a chicken and rice dish, and it was delicious! I have since made other chutneys as well, but plan to devote another blog post to that. But, in short, I am SOLD on chutney!

Orchard Canned Peach Chutney

We are so very grateful to God for His gift of these peaches, among all of the other produce from our orchard this year.

James 1:17: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.


The Orchard – Update I

Well, it’s been a couple of years since we posted about the orchard we have tried to start (if you click that link, pay no attention to the immodestly dressed person in the cowboy hat 🙂 ). Each year except this one, for which we only did replacements, we have tried to put in at least a few new trees. We now have 35 fruit trees — apricot, plum, nectarine, peach, apple, pear, and persimmon, 7 pecan trees, and 10 grape vines.

Here are the fruit trees:

Our Orchard
Our Orchard
Our Orchard

These are views of the fruit trees down the rows:

Our Orchard Between the Rows
Our Orchard Between the Rows

Here are the grape vines of the beginnings of our vineyard:

Our Vineyard

And our first little grapes! At this point, our plan for any grapes God graciously grants is to dry them into raisins:

First Grapes from the Vineyard

We haven’t really received much fruit up to this point; but this year the Lord has granted some apricots, nectarines and peaches. This is our first year to have apricots, and they are the first ones to be ripe enough to pick so far:

Apricots on the Tree

Here is Sue gathering some:

Sue Picking Apricots

And what we gathered:

Apricots from Our Orchard

In order to preserve the apricots without canning, freezing or having to use a preservative, we put the apricots in the solar food dehydrator. Also, I wanted to save the apricot seeds to be used in moderate quantities for the health benefits of vitamin B17; so they are being dried as well. And, on the lower shelf you can see some plums we were given, which we’re drying into prunes:

Apricot Halves and Pits in Solar Food Dehydrator

And here are a couple of pictures of the pecan trees. They really seem to grow slowly. We lost one last year too — it had been growing nicely, and then one day the leaves dried up, and it just died; and so we replaced it with a new one. Also, in order to allow the goats to keep our main homestead area mowed (thus allowing them access to all of that free food), I fenced off the orchard area, and each pecan tree, as you can see here:

Our Pecan Trees
Our Pecan Trees

We thank the Lord for allowing us to plant perennial fruit-bearing plants; and we pray for His provisions from them for many years, if it be His will.

— David

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