Feeling grateful to whoever planted the appletrees (& plum & peach & pear & cherry & walnut & almond & maple trees) on this property all those decades ago. I just arrived here at the end of August and have only harvested a fraction of the produce. I've canned 15 quarts of apples in syrup, 14 quarts of applesauce, 20 quarts of apple juice, 14 pints of plums in syrup, 9 half-pints of plum jam. And there's more to go. Meanwhile the deer and bear are filling their bellies too. Back in Dallas, people thought it odd that I would make my own applesauce. Here the response is, "Come winter you'll be glad you did." :)
I know a bit more about the history here since we have been here since the late 1600's, and being "educated" as it was called back then, my ancestors wrote down the things they did. So I know when a lot of the apple trees were planted here and by whom.
But I am thankful, and while I do not prune my trees like I should, they do produce.
I am equally thankful, and respectful to my ancestors for clearing the forest into farmland here. In 1838 my Great Uncle and Grandfather cleared "10 acres and burned the brush in one summer." That was quite the feat with axe and oxen. I started clearing 10 acres this summer and I only got 1/2 of it done and I am using a chainsaw and skidder!
We were putting in an access road and as we neared a tough part, the USDA-NRCS inspector said, "just put the road out through the field to make it easier on you." I could not believe what he said, and I was like,"No way. My ancestors worked hard to clear the rocks and stumps from that field. I am not putting a road there, we will go through the woods since today we got heavy equipment to do the work.
My Uncle said something similar one day while mowing hay. The air conditioner in the tractor gave out and it was hot! After complaining I was like, "Our ancestors would kick our bottoms! Here we are complaining about the heat when we are are mowing hay, 16 feet wide at 11 miles an hour while sitting on our rumps." he laughed and said I was right. I know I was right, they would be blown away if they knew we mowed 200 acres per day, while they were lucky to mow 3-5 acres per day.
So being thankful to those before us is huge. How many tons those apple trees produced would probably blow my mind. Today the food supply averages 3 days, yet for these pioneers, they looked ahead for generations, and like you I am grateful.
I have a secret spot like that. OERB came in about 15 years ago and remediated an old oil well head mess (big poo pile of solidified crude oil). They do a really nice job, for free (..almost, 0.1% wellhead tax). You could put a nice bench there and sit, almost park like when it was finished. They planted a couple of apples and peach trees. It's out in the woods on an unoccupied 10 acre lot and I don't think anyone else knows it's there. Dwarf trees but still a nice little haul if you get there before the deer. It's starting to get overgrown now, I used to take my pruners and cut the saplings, not so much time for that anymore. Maybe this winter. Thanks, Big Oil.