you can do it | Independent Ledger – Maysville Online
I blink and check again. Where’s Daniel? I checked the children’s rooms to see if he was looking after any of them – not Daniel. Stepping over to the window facing our driveway, I blinked again and smiled as I looked out over the field beyond. Deep in the back part of our 11-acre field were the headlights of our tractor as it circled back and forth in the darkness of the wee hours of the early morning hours.
I snuggled into my bed, excited for the day ahead, but grateful that I didn’t bear the responsibility of planting 1,150 chestnut trees over the next two days, before the heavy rains forecast for Tuesday night.
Now, I don’t know how familiar you are with chestnuts; I didn’t know them last winter when Daniel first mentioned them. Okay, so most chestnuts are imported, which makes the demand much higher. Daniel is always on the lookout for things that will improve the lives of our children and help build their character. He was impressed by the idea that by the time we have a house full of teenagers, we have, God willing, a family project of harvesting chestnuts and caring for the grove. I was fascinated to learn about the health aspects of this nut and its ability to be used in many ways, including ground to make flour.
I admit that at first I was a little nervous, until one day I said to myself: “Of course, I will support his idea with all my heart! Since then we have had untold blessings as we discussed how to approach the planting days and dreamed of having a picnic area among the trees (once they are taller than the two in three feet that they are now) and set up a campsite.
Now we were looking forward to the day they arrived, which happened to be Daniel’s birthday. The next “wait” was the soybeans, which had to be harvested first for the field to be emptied, ready for the grass seed, then the trees. On the day the beans were harvested, Daniel began to prepare the area for planting, including cutting down a few trees in the woods surrounding the field.
Now the day was here. No need to wait anymore; the race was on. My husband was planting grass seeds.
After a few more hours of sleep for me, dawn was here. I met Daniel in the field with two breakfast sandwiches (made with fresh quail eggs) and juice. The sod seed was fully planted and he was ready to work on rendering the land and putting up flags where trees were to be planted in 20 foot increments throughout the area. It was important work in itself. Daniel loves the nice, straight rows of everything he does, and demarcating a large field was no small task. With great diligence and the help of his father, they made their way through the field.
The kids were on pins and needles waiting for that big day when friends and family would come and lend a hand, making work more enjoyable and doable. Now this morning it only took a few moments for them to be wide awake. As soon as they had breakfast and done their morning work, we joined the men who began distributing stakes, guards, and ties for planting. Little Joshua was thrilled to be in the action and got it all.
Daniel’s goal was to have the last trees in the ground by Tuesday night. I guess my optimistic husband has crossed the line a bit. Monday went well. Maybe the best part of it all for me was the night, with guests relaxing in the courtyard after dinner. It was so good to sit down and chat and keep up to date with the news.
Tuesday morning, I took the children to the field again. Thanks to Grandma for babysitting Joshua while we were digging and giving him everything we had. By mid-afternoon Daniel contacted those who were planning to help in the evening and told them that we were working on the last section and that they didn’t need to feel obligated to come.
White protective tubes stripped from the trees and tied to stakes, all stood in rows of hundreds of trees. As we made these last few rows, I gazed at the field in wonder. Above us dark clouds were gathering. I thanked God for the rain, which I was sure would come one day or another. I had not prepared all my menus in advance to feed those who came to help me. So I just took one meal at a time and asked God to plan it for me. I was amazed at how well it all came together. Several ladies brought food, which was a rich blessing.
That night, while we were sleeping, a heavy rain poured down, watering these young trees.
We hear stories from elders, how they roasted chestnuts on a fire on fall days. Do any of you remember those days before the plague broke, killing most of the chestnut trees in North America? We will see, and maybe in a few years, we will have some to offer you! With this mildew resistant type we hope for a good harvest.
Apple pie squares
3 3/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/3 cup butter
1 cup of cold water
10 cups of chopped apples
1 1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 teas of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Mix the ingredients for the dough and roll out like a pie crust. Place half of the dough in the bottom of a 15 x 11-inch rimmed cookie sheet. Now mix the ingredients for the filling and spread them over the uncooked crust. Sprinkle with several tablespoons of butter. Place other half of the spread over the filling mixture or cut into strips and place over the filling, in a mesh. Beat an egg and brush the top crust. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. To be enjoyed hot in the oven or fresh. Delicious with homemade vanilla ice cream!