Becoming a Backyard Orchardist: A Fruitful Journey
by: Dr. Samuel A. Mielcarski, DPT
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I had been eating a raw-living foods diet for almost a decade and I felt good,but there was a sense of something missing; some element or nutrient that I was just not getting. Then, one day, it hit me-literally-a piece of fruit right in the head, under my neighbor’s fig tree. It was definitely a sign from above, a message that the next logical step in consciousness and health transformation would be growing my own food. I began to feel excited. Of course, I wasn’t quite sure where to begin, but I knew I had to take this step. I knew that in order to develop the requisite understandings, I had to connect more closely with Nature’s teachings.
As I sat on my deck in Georgia eating the figs I had just picked from my neighbor’s tree, I noted that a couple of them didn’t taste quite right, so I deposited them over the side rail of my deck and was inspired to say out loud: “God, I would love to have my own fig trees some day.” Later, I was sitting in quietude when a vision came to me- one that included not just fig trees, but a whole backyard orchard of various fruits. I could see and sense this vision as if it had already transpired. After coming out of this meditative state, I met up with a friend and told him about my intentions. The very next day he e-mailed me about a class on growing fruit trees, to be held that evening in our area. I felt the excitement build again. Here was another sign that my vision was meant to be! So, my friend and I attended the class that night. I was thrilled to taste some locally grown fruits, as well as learning about fruit growing.
After the class, I was positive I was going to become a backyard orchardist. I knew there would be much work involved. Since I enjoy being outside and connecting with Nature, I was sure this would make the journey that much sweeter.
Bringing The Vision To Life, Step By Step
When I woke up the next day, I thought I must have been dreaming because my yard isn’t that big. Well…that’s because I was only looking at what I could see up to the fence line on the back of my property. I discovered that even though the previous homeowner had put up the fence there, I owned more property behind it. Upon learning this, I started taking immediate action. The next step was to
clear the land behind the fence. There were already numerous trees back there, but none that could produce fruit. Once I took this step, I felt obligated (out of “tree karma” alone) to follow through with my vision. When taking the old fence down, I found a variety of garden and farm tools that were stored
on this part of my property. Here was another sign that this whole journey was meant to be; this land had been previously worked and blessed. I even found some old compost piles as well.
Once the land was cleared, I had to decide what I wanted to plant. I learned in the class I attended that these could be grown in my region: peaches, pears (Asian and regular), plums, cherries, paw paws, jujubes, grapes, pineapple guavas, kiwi,
figs, pomegranates, blueberries, raspberries, walnuts, pecans and almonds. The hardest decision was “what to plant?”-so, I planted it all! I took on this task with full force and loving intention.
The next step was the layout. So, I contacted a local nursery and spoke with a few local people who had some knowledge about growing fruit trees in Georgia. After receiving some valuable advice, I started mapping out what the orchard would look like in my head, on paper and then on the land itself. I learned that choosing the site location for the trees was just as important as planting them. This venture does take some patience and forethought.
The next step was the planting process itself. I loved this part! In fact, the mantra “I LOVE YOU” was said every time I touched the Georgia terrain with my hands, pickax and shovel. Every time I struck the soil, I could feel my body harden and my soul soften as I imbued the soil with love and light. This is one of the reasons I feel I had so much success with this orchard. When digging and chipping away at the Earth’s terrain, a term came to me: “envirocise”-exercise that not only benefits human health, but that of the planet as well. There really is no comparison between exercising in the sunshine, fresh air and birdsong of nature and working out in a gym under fluorescent light while we are subjected to noise and breathe stale air-the first is revitalizing, while the other is draining.
The First Fruits Of My Loving Labor
Since I was eager to see results, I decided to purchase “instant orchard trees.” They are already a few years old. This means that fruiting will occur sooner rather than later. Sure enough, the second year after planting my orchard, I reaped the benefits of all my hard work and efforts.Seeing the first fruit blossoms, I was amazed at their beauty. The word pretty would be an understatement! I remember blessing and talking to each tree that day. I let them all know that I was leaving for several weeks, to run someof my “RAW-habilitation Health Retreats” in Costa Rica. Upon my return, I was pleased to see the trees still doing quite well. Some even had tiny fruit on them. It was as though I never left Costa Rica, but now I was standing in my own backyard Paradise!
Oh, remember those figs thrown over the deck railing with the intention of having my own fig trees one day? They grew right there. Yep, right underneath the deck-two of them! This was a reminder that we must be explicit about not only what we ask for, but how we ask. The Universe does hear us! After pondering these fig tree manifestations, I figured I would plant some new fig trees in my orchard. However, as I went to dig out from underneath the deck, I got a growing sense that they wanted to stay. So, I kept them as part of my orchard. And there is more to the story: I had a couple of volunteer peach trees appear in my yard near a compost pile as well. Yes, they even produced some fruit!
Wisely Growing Forth
Fruits and nuts are great, but I’m a lover of vegetables too. So, in addition to the orchard, I decided to plant a 400-square-foot garden. The results have been quite favorable. Many times, volunteer plants have appeared in large numbers and have outdone the other plants in strength and quality. I have shared the orchard and garden with many people. I have even fed some these delights to my clients, to help them understand what “real food” is supposed to taste like.
It’s interesting that the body of Mother Earth and the human body work on the same health principle: “Love the soil.” That is what you have to do. Don’t use chemicals to kill or attack either one. Feed the soil correctly, and the body (human or Earth) will take care of the rest. Conversely, if we choose to drug ourselves or the body of Mother Earth, we are participating in what our ecologist friend Don Weaver calls “The War on Terra.” A healthy terrain is the key to good health. Feed the soil of the Earth correctly and your garden and orchard will be healthy. Feed the soil of your body correctly (with wholesome food from healthy Earth), and you will promote optimum health.
I hope that this journey of mine has inspired you to grow something. Don’t make excuses-just do it, even if you have only a small space. Many fruits and veggies will grow in pots. Our relationship with the Earth is important for the well-being of all. If we want to thrive and be happy, we must choose to be symbiotic givers as opposed to parasitic takers from the land. I have found that becoming a backyard orchardist is one sweet way to do this. Much love to all!
Dr. Samuel A. Mielcarski, DPT specializes in rehabilitation and health transformation. He is an author, speaker, rawfood lifestyle teacher and licensed physical therapist. Samuel is the creator of Dr. Sam’s Revolutionary Rehab Manual and the RAW-habilitation Health Retreats. Please visit www.DrSamPT.com.