Friday, May 2, 2014

Slowing down to go Faster

It is a dreary, drizzly kind of day in Eaton Rapids, Michigan.

Today's lesson was about slowing down to go faster.

Seedling rootstock

One of my forward looking enterprises is to have a supply of seedling fruit trees on hand to use as rootstock.  These would be solely for use on my own property because the State of Michigan has a $500 per stem fine for the shipment off-property of un-inspected nursery products.  Michigan has a strong fruit growing industry and the fines are an attempt to slow down the spread of some really nasty bugs and diseases.

I carefully tilled the soil.  I gave much consideration to which mama tree (and the nearby, probable papa trees) would make the most suitable parents.  I picked the pears and apples.  I carefully stepped them into the soil.  I waited.

Maybe some more seeds will germinate when we get a little bit of warmth.

So far, the results have been poor.  I just do not see very many germinated seeds.

Out marking trees

I ran across an outstanding mulberry while scouting for wild plums last summer.  I dropped in to the owner's earlier this week and asked if I could buy some cuttings so I could attempt to propagate it.  The lady at the desk said that she needed to defer to the Grounds Manager.

He got back to me and we had a nice chat on the telephone.  He admitted that he also like to sample the wild fruits and he agreed that the mulberry on the northwest corner was something special.  By my reckoning, it is in the top three of the + hundred I have tasted in my life.

I collected the scionwood today and paid the Ground Manager.  He said I did not have to pay but I know that I will be Johnny Onnit if I have some real, cash money invested in the project.

After processing the scionwood (cutting, soaking, bagging and refrigerating) I went out to tag the mulberry trees that I plan to graft later this spring.  I will be grafting Illinois Everbearing Mulberry and the newly discovered Pet Cemetery Mulberry.

I can state with great certainty that deer are much better at planting pear seeds than I am.  I was in low-speed mosey gear when I noticed two very dense stands of pear seedlings.  The stands were, oh, about the size of a typical deer poop.  There were probably 30 seedlings in about 8 square inches.

God throws gifts in front of us all of the time.  Most of the time I am in too much of a hurry to see those gifts.  In my haste and blindness, I stumble as I kick the gift (often the very thing I am looking for) out of my path.  I am not always appropriate in my choice of words when I stumble.

Since retiring, I have been able to cultivate the art of slowing down to go faster. 


  1. Great story. Reminds me of The One Straw Revolution, by Fukuoka. There is a pdf file of it available online, for the interested. Fukuoka posits that when man intervenes in nature, he makes things worse, or something like that. The deer scat pear trees reminded me of this.

    1. Hello Milton!

      I will move those seedlings to a garden row where they will be more optimally spaced. I also poked around some other deer trails that run across my property specifically looking for fruit tree seedlings. I found a few spots where it will be worth my time to dig up the seedlings (apples, mostly) and move them.

      Again, thanks for writing....and the ducks are doing fine.