Why are we giving ourselves so much work?

Hello all:

Just finished planting 29 trees, 11 shrubs, repotting 9 (future) but petites fruit trees in the greenhouse to let them grow for some years, and planting 21 small rhubarbs, strawberries, raspberries etc… As we say in French and probably in English too: my tongue is on the ground and my fingernails are in deep mourning… (they’re black as pitch) and are badly in need of a manicure…

All this work as it would be a lot easier and faster to go to the food store!

I like to be outside, to hear a lot of different birds singing, to look at Nature and the already beautiful results I can see in the orchard: the plum trees in bloom and the Shinseiki in full bloom too!

For those with hawk eyes: YES I have huge « results » with dandelions too!!!

But I am most satisfied to see that all my 5 Zagreb quinces trees has passed the « North Pole » test with success. Waited 5 years before putting them in ground but I could get quince this year or next: I am so exited!

A lot or work but really glad about the results. Considering the efforts put into for own endeavor, are you happy with the result? I know Luis from Portugal should be and that young man with an unusual first name who has transformed his driveway and backward into a botanical garden too. Deeply sorry for not remembering your name, pal…

P.S. Will keep you all posted on the advancement of the orchard in the coming months.



I love the look and feel of traditional orchards. The whole tortured look of trees that look like grape vines on wires just doesn’t do it for me.

have you made dandelion honey? It tastes pretty much like regular honey.


And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.

Perhaps that is why :slight_smile:



I’m not familiar with this idiom and I’m pretty sure that we don’t say that in America. I’m guessing that it means that you have worked very very hard. Is that correct?

Love the pictures! :slight_smile:


I wonder myself. I have planted a small orchard which is closing in on 100 trees. Mostly figs. No duplicate varieties. There will likely be months of fruit picking every couple days. I’ll never be able to leave town in the late summer or fall. But, I’m like, following my passion? Lol


Congratulations! It’s looking great and you will be very happy with the results! :+1:

Hi Don:

Canada being a socialist country bees are unionized here… :blush: They never start working before the first or second week of June because it’s too cold and more importantly because there is no flowers except dandelions. They concentrate on goldenrod and clover and that’s it. Marc

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Hello Farmgirl!

Yes, you know after lot of physical efforts (like a running athlete), one is tired so his/her tongue in “on the ground”. As for “fingernails in mourning”, too much time spent on digging and using earth and even with leather gloves the fingernails have a lot of dirt under them.


Hi Aaron:

I’m such a “fig pig” that I would gladly work in you orchard for only good figs as salary! I have surely eaten figs from your orchard or from people of S. Calif. Every nations does “food dumping” and we pay about 1$ for a single fig which is a ridiculous price for you but a raisonnable price for us. But beware: we are receiving figs from Mexico now and the prices are getting lower 10$ for 15 figs. Oh God I going to be tempted again!

Prazer Luis:

You should be the one to be congradulated! So much efforts in your endeavour and such a lovely environment to live in and all those lovely pictures of prepared foods. Do you have slaves working for you? Ha! :rofl:


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Thank’s! Slaves? No! This is a small property. I have some help but it’s manageable. What gives more work is to cut grass. This year they grow like crazy!


I think we all get carried away with ‘loving the process’ - and creating - and the challenge. We love it - and it keeps us healthy in so many different ways.
However . . . At some point we lift our heads up and realize that we now have ‘created’ so much . . . often too too much . . . to care for. By then we are too invested - and must maintain it all.

I seem to do that with everything that I involve myself in. :roll_eyes: You should see my art studio! I could open an art supply store! Canvases. Gadgets. Easels. Brushes and Paints. - just like all the gardening paraphernalia I have acquired!

I’ve learned to say ‘no’ to projects that others want to involve me in. But, it’s harder to say ‘no’ to ourselves!

Your orchard is lovely! Our work may never be done . . . but it’s all worth it. The process and the results.



I agree. With a good crop we would never be able to give away/use all the peaches/cherries. I like the challenge to have the perfect shape tree, grow a good crop despite the weather and bugs. My wife and I are also busy with stone carving and mosaics. I don’t know how anyone can’t stay busy after retirement.


There is one more aspect of this. What would we do if not this? I asked that question myself 100s times - the answer is always the same. I would be bored to death…
What other activity gives you physical and mental challenge in the same time,gives a field for your creativity and aesthetic skills to bloom and also provides food on the way?


Ditto on what @galinas said. A lot of my friends were climbing the walls during the Covid ‘lockdown’. I barely noticed it, sorry to say. I still went to a few places . . . grocery and garden center for instance. Just wore a mask and carried alchohol wipes - kept my distance. But, what i was able to do at home, to keep myself active and busy - hoping and THINKING . . . . was the ticket to being happy at the time.


Oh my I agree, there is nothing better than a studio full of art supplies unless it is a yard full of new grafts, seedlings, and the first time blossoms of a fruit you did not have before.

I do the work simply for the feeling I get at the end of the day, joy, satisfaction and accomplishment.


I have friends who put a lot of energy and resources into acquiring model trains and building a train layout, but they don’t taste as good!

For people contemplating growing their own fruit, having an orchard like garners as much admiration as you get from people who collect model trains if you have a basement-filling train layout.

As to the dirt under the fingernails, I have a safety equipment supply place that sells me heavy-duty orange-colored nitrile gloves. Those save me a lot of nuisance treating wasp stings when I pick fruit half-eaten by the woodpecker off the ground in harvest season – I remove all fruit from the ground that I get to as an organic/IPM practice to break the cycle of apple pests.

Many of the Youtube videos of people showing you how to work on your car wear gloves, and this saves a lot of hand cleaning and reduces your exposure to chemicals in oil and grease. My problem is remembering to use them.


I’ve been reading that dirt under fingernails can be antidepressant!!! Yet another collateral benefit…

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Now I know the reward for all this work. I am thrilled as a 5 year old getting some candy… I hope the quince won’t abort. I will keep you posted. Marc


It’s just one more tree. :deciduous_tree:It’s just one more tree. :deciduous_tree:It’s just one more tree. :deciduous_tree: