We just passed the cherry harvest this year and it was another great year. So, considering this is a woodworking site and blog, I must say that cherry trees are good for something other than just chairs...They are good for raising kids, just ask George Washington's Dad. There are all sorts of lessons to be had from trees. Here are a few:
Every spring, trees make an early start because they know that winter is coming and they have jobs to do before it comes. Sometimes they are hit by frost and get set back, but they still do their best to grow, whatever the circumstance.
Trees like children grow up looking for space, but they are given strength to stand from their roots. If the roots are good and deep, the tree will stand through good seasons and bad.
Trees take a lot of heat, but unlike other things that just get hotter as the sun shines on them, they do something with that energy. Trees lower the temperature of the air around them (because they make shade, but also because photosynthesis uses much of the sun's energy to make sugar). After all that work, does the tree keep that sugar for itself? Not all of it, a good deal of it is wrapped around each seed in the form of fruit and is given away to help the next generation. Talk about generosity.
Depending on how you take care of a tree, you can yield a little fruit or a lot. In the West where we live, water is a big deal and if the trees have water at the right times, things go great. But if not, the tree doesn't last that long. Carefully pruning away unnecessary branches and weak wood will also make a big difference for trees and people.
What you do with fruit is entirely a matter of preference. Eating some along the way was great fun (the little guy in front collected more in his cheeks than in his basket - I'm almost certain he is eating a cherry, not picking his nose). Since it isn't generally advisable to eat gallons of cherries all at once, as gastric distress results, the joy of harvest can be extended throughout the year, or the neighborhood. The smiles didn't change much from last year to this.
These little guys decided to make jam with their cherries. Here are a few stages in that process as recorded by my wife.
This kid doesn't really like loud noises, but the blender he used was uncomfortably loud, so he wisely went and grabbed the hearing protectors he's using. Later, he trained his sister on how the machine works.
Some supervised stirring...
Now for the sales...
Victory! This excited little buddy of mine did great. I'm proud of the way he got an idea and made it happen. Way to go son!
Matthew is a talented young woodworker that enjoys unlocking the natural beauty of each piece of wood. He had an early start to his woodworking pursuits in junior high classes and has in the last 7 years, begun to combine his design training and experience with some talents that remained dormant for a number of years. He loves exploring techniques and the best that is out there and in so doing, he has created many custom pieces for family and friends and begun marketing his work for the enjoyment of those who appreciate hand-crafted, unique and inspiring work.