The Giving Tree

There is a “child’s” story, called “The Giving Tree,” from Shel Silverstein. What a treasure. It is all about giving and sacrifice. That’s hard for many of us to understand.

When my daughter, Hart, was a child, we had a Northern Spy apple tree, long neglected, outside the hen house. I built a tree fort there for her, so she could get away from life when need be. Not far off the ground it was, maybe 12 feet. She’d bring the chickens up there on her shoulder to talk with them.

The apples of a Northern Spy fruit every second year, so you won’t find them in the supermarket. But Hart and I decided to do what we could, because there is no finer baked apple in the universe. Hard, tart, and sweet beyond words.

We studied up and discovered that the answer lie not in perfect fruit, but in tolerating imperfectons (as it is in life). So we harvested apples with worm holes, with other defects, and cut those out, and wound up with the finest baked apple dishes you can’t possibly imagine.

The tree is still there, but I’m not, and Hart is not.

I shall start another. Perhaps she’ll come and help.

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About lifegrower

Peter V. Fossel has been gardening since he was nine, and has been an organic farmer for the last 20 years. His most recent book, “Organic Farming, Everything You Need to know” was published by Voyageur Press, Minneapolis, 2007. He’s written numerous gardening articles for Organic Gardening, Horticulture, Country Journal, Out Here, and American Profile among others. He was Gardens Manager for The Hermitage, home of President Andrew Jackson in Tennessee before returning to Cape Cod to start his newest organic venture, Swan River Farm in Dennisport, MA.
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One Response to The Giving Tree

  1. Helen says:

    We’re raising our 8-yr-old grandson, Connor. I began reading to him when he was still a baby, and “The Giving Tree” was a favorite of ours. Now, he reads it to me.

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