Last year I started gardening. I built a bed box on the side of the house, manually tilled a section for potatoes and broccoli, planted some raspberries, strawberries, onions, bell peppers, and carrots. My wife and I also bought two four-foot manchurian apricot saplings and planted them in the front yard on either side of our walkway. We thought it would be cool to have some fruit trees. They won’t bear fruit for the first few years, but we saw it as an investment in the future.
Then in late summer, I actually discovered that a nearby church/synagogue had mature apricot trees that were dropping fruit on the sidewalk, so I would go over there and harvest them, wash and eat the fruit, and save the pits.
A little research informed me as to the proper method of planting apricots. The pit has to be cracked open and the seed, which looks like an almond and is toxic to eat, has to be planted and sit in the ground through the winter – a process I believe they call “frost conditioning”. I planted about ten seeds in a large pot, in a ring around the inside with a seed planted in the middle. I figured if I got more than one I would have time to recognize them and thin them out into other pots, if they even grew at all. The pot is by the shed, where I can check on it every time I take out or put away my bike or garden tools.
The other day, I found this in the pot:
I do believe that’s a baby apricot tree. Just the one so far, but so big and sudden! How appropriate, too because my wife and I discussed planting a tree for each member of our small family, and we have yet to plant one for our daughter, who will be a year old in less than a month. Like her, maybe we will be able to grow it from scratch; how wonderfully symbolic is that for the creation and life?