I picked a pear off of a pear tree in our yard not long ago. That may not sound like such a huge feat, but it was the first piece of fruit we got from any fruit tree on our property. It was the most delicious pear I ever tasted in my life.
My wife has quite the green thumb and has planted several fruit trees around our land over the last few years. She gets mad at me when I say I want to move one more time because of all the time she has put into our yard.
We have several pear trees, some apple trees, and two fig trees. I’m leaving some stuff off here, I don’t know what all she has planted.
It amazes me, being able to go out to my yard and get food. It has become somewhat of an obsession. We finally have enough land to be able to grow our own food.
We have 30-40 chickens. Which is about 30-40 too many, depending on who you ask. But I like having them.
We hatch baby chicks in the springtime. We get brown and blue eggs daily. And once in a while we get some fresh chicken meat.
We have a nice-sized garden. Every year we are able to get a little more food from it than we got the year before. As long as that is the case, I believe we are heading in the right direction.
We have honeybees. Everyone helps with the chickens and the garden, but I deal with the bees on my own. No one wants any part of messing around with the bees. It’s their loss because those honeybees have been one of the most fascinating hobbies I’ve done. They are really amazing creatures.
And once you’ve had raw honey, you could never have store-bought honey again. Your taste buds would revolt.
Food tastes better when it has some of your own sweat on it. I say that figuratively. But it really does.
We are not yet to the point where I would like to be. Each year we learn more. We learn what we can grow well and what doesn’t grow so well for us. We have a compost pile which helps our garden out tremendously.
Last year we had so many cucumbers we were able to put up several jars of pickles for later in the year. This year we didn’t get as many cucumbers, but we made up for it with a huge output of zucchini. When life gives you zucchini, you eat zucchini.
It’s satisfying for me as a father to be able to eat a meal that we all had a hand in creating here on our land. It’s only a few meals per year, but for those meals I know exactly where everything came from.
I don’t have to read any labels and wonder what the new name for sugar is this month. I don’t have to google search what long words with not enough vowels in them mean, then wonder if it’s safe to eat.
It’s not easy, and it isn’t always pleasant. But it is always delicious.
Toby Nix is a local writer, guitarist and deputy sheriff.