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Fulfilling a Dream

Cutting Trails to a Hidden Orchard

From the first step I took in an apple orchard south of Ottawa, Canada, I was in love with them. I loved the lush green trees filled with ruby red apples and the heavenly scent that filled the air. I loved filling my basket and enjoying them in pies, crisps, muffins, or eating them on their own. From that first step, I dreamt of having my own apple orchard. Every autumn, I felt homesick for an apple orchard I had never owned.

I viewed properties in British Columbia replete with orchards, but they were always out of reach. Then, after a series of distressing experiences, circumstances necessitated moving across the country and to an unseen home, relying only on the photos and descriptions of realtors, inspectors, and lawyers to make the selection. After poring through about 200 properties online, I kept feeling pulled to one although I told myself that I would never tackle another renovation project and this one was enormous. I could not stop the feeling that I was being pulled toward the property or silence the voice that told me the property would feel magical.

After about eight months of what felt like non-stop renovations, and still living without a fully functioning kitchen and seemingly constant disarray, I could feel the tension rising. Magnify the stress with a phone call from my agent telling me that the publisher that had assured me for several months that my book contracts were on the way, was suddenly acquired by a massive book retailer and all contracts, mine included, were halted during the acquisition process. I pushed aside the book I had already spent countless hours writing and stormed outside to get some fresh air. And, if that wasn’t enough, I had lost my primary income source only a few weeks earlier and still had mounting house restoration costs.

“That’s it,” I angrily announced in my own head. Then, I immediately decided I wanted trails on my forested acreage so I could walk through them to clear my head whenever life became unbearable, as it felt at that time. I needed help getting the first ten to twenty feet started and then I literally trailblazed my way through thick brush and small trees with an old riding lawn mower. I knew it wasn’t the best tool for the job but it’s what I had and I was determined to start immediately.

I briefly stopped after finding a massive old apple tree and shrieked with excitement. I couldn’t believe my good fortune. I had found an apple tree, my heart’s desire. I couldn’t help but wonder if there might be another one nearby. As if directed from one tree to the next, I cut a path through thick brush directly to another apple tree, and then another.

After countless days of my own diligent trail-cutting and enlisting help for the massive task of removing invasive trees that surrounded the Victorian-era apple trees with their unique, seemingly extinct varieties, it suddenly dawned on me that I had found twenty-four. I had been so focused on reaching each one that I hadn’t stopped to consider that I had discovered an apple orchard. My eyes filled with tears as my heart swelled. I had longed for one for years. I couldn’t believe my good fortune in discovering one in the forest on my acreage.

Jump ahead several years and what has felt like endless clearing of invasive trees and brush that required a lot more than my old, now defunct riding mower, there are a whopping seventy apple trees  in my orchard. Just writing “my orchard” still feels surreal to me, but it’s a great feeling. I couldn’t have imagined that after enduring so much hardship that seemed to lead merely to more adversity, I have my coveted apple orchard.

Needless to say, I’m a firm believer in following the longings of one’s heart and allowing instincts to lead the way even when the path seems nonsensical and arduous. After all, the yearnings of our heart and our own intuition are the guiding light on our soul’s quest.

In the days, months, and hopefully years ahead, I’ll share with you my homesteading adventures, as well as insights, tips, recipes, and instructions for leading a more self-sufficient life. You might not find an apple orchard in your future, but you will undoubtedly find plentiful amounts of happiness and fulfillment on this exciting journey.


If you like what you see and read here, please consider using the links on my page (there are no costs to use them), purchasing my books and ebooks, or making a donation to support my work. Discover how apples and apple cider vinegar may help with weight loss, heart disease, and more in my ebook FOOD FIX: The Most Powerful Healing Foods and How to Use Them to Overcome Disease

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