Thanks to a combination of favorable weather and eager bees, we had an outstanding apple year this year. All five trees on our property produced well, but none was as eerily generous as the one I’ve come to think of as the Giving Tree. Its branches drooped in curtains of fruit, and no amount of depredation could seem to reduce its supply.
Even after my husband found a swarm of Amish neighbor kids happily filling their pony cart with apples, the tree remained bountiful. (In their defense, we’d arranged with their father to trade apples for extra straw bales to go around our beehives. After that incident, though, we asked the kids to leave the harvesting to us. In their locust-like enthusiasm, I think even the Giving Tree would have been pushed past its limits had they and their pony cart been given unlimited access.)
Alas, winter has finally done what the Amish kids could not. (Or, to be precise, didn’t have time to do before my husband intervened with their harvest.) The branches are mostly bare, although even now, the tree clings fiercely to its last few apples. I assume it will need a rest after this year’s impressive performance, and I’m expecting an off-year next year.
That’s all right. I’ll just plant some extra tomatoes…