Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Tasty Legacy

Living in my grandparents' house provides me with memories everywhere I look. On top of the memories, my grandfather also left a legacy in the form of a pear tree, a cherry tree, two apple trees, and seven pecan trees. The apple trees are the final remnant of my grandfather's apple orchard, which once had over fifty trees. This, along with his garden, used to provide my grandparents with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and I was able to reap the benefits when I was growing up.
One of the original apple trees

When my wife and I moved in, we decided to try our best to keep these old trees producing, and we also added three additional apple trees, two peach trees, six blueberry bushes, and two muscadine vines. The pear and cherry trees are still healthy and productive, but the apple trees are definitely showing their age. I'm afraid one day soon these trees may have to be removed, but I just can't bring myself to do it yet. Hopefully they can remain for several more years, but only time will tell. 
The old and the new

I can remember sitting in the old swing eating apples off these very trees as a child, and I also remember Pop (my grandfather) drying apples between two sections of window screen to help keep the bugs off. I wish I had asked more questions about caring for fruit trees back then, but as a child my main interest was eating those tasty apples. Golden Delicious were always my favorite, and we made sure to plant one of these when we added new trees to the orchard. It is the only one of our new trees that had any fruit on it this year.
Golden Delicious

I'm still in the process of learning how to keep an orchard and how and when to spray and prune the trees. The young trees we planted are just starting to produce fruit, but I hope to have peaches and apples off of them in another year or two. The muscadine vines are another new experience for me. I have eaten wild muscadines and bought them from other producers, but this is my first try at growing them myself.
Muscadines on the trellis

For anyone who is not familiar with these particular grapes, they grow in the South and produce grapes that are single or in pairs of two or three, rather than the classic bunches that you see in the grocery stores. They have a thick skin and fairly large seeds in them, but they are my absolute favorite of the grapes. They also are supposed to be the easiest grape varieties to grow in the hot and humid South. I love to eat them straight off the vine, but they also make wonderful juice and jelly. If we get enough, we may try to make some jelly this fall.
The muscadines

Sometimes when I'm working in the yard I look around at all the trees my grandparents planted years ago, and I hope that someday when I'm gone someone will still be enjoying the trees we planted. There's nothing quite like getting fresh fruit from the yard, and if I'm going to leave a legacy I would like for it to be a tasty one!

Thanks for stopping by!

- Joseph


  1. Joseph, another great read. I remember well your grandparent's orchard and all the pecan trees as well. Lib was always making pecan rolls and she gave me the recipe years ago but I never tried it. She always said it was very easy to do. Your grandparents were two very special people and it is so good to know you and Trina are in the "homeplace" and are keeping the memories for all of us. Tish, your Virginia cousin.

    1. Thanks Tish! We feel very fortunate to have the "homeplace", and as I have been writing this blog, the memories surrounding this house seem to pop up fairly often. I haven't published all of them yet, but I have written a couple more posts about growing up here.


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