by Morgan Heinemann
I have lived in the same house my entire life. Twenty full years behind a 270 acre apple farm. Fishkill Farms has provided my local community with a slew of opportunities and family-friendly activities. Personally, this farm has given me the privilege of watching the beautiful life cycle of apple trees from my backyard. I am a witness to each stage of their life cycle. Watching the growth of these trees has been a consistent memory that occurred throughout my childhood and even in my young adult life.
The emergence of Spring means the budding of flowers. The slow warming of the weather allows for the flowers inside the buds to grow. The sweet smell of these flowers attracts bees for their pollinating capabilities. Their pollen helps the flowers grow into potential apples. The bees are unaware that they are providing a new beginning for these apple trees. You can’t help but feel hopeful for what is about to come after this stage of their life cycle.
Summer means being surrounded by the presence of apple blossoms. As the buds grow, I can watch the colors of the flowers change. Initially a soft pink and then the flower is consumed by a strong white coloring. The familiar look of the apples we eat begins to take place. The excitement for future apple picking endeavors and the opportunity for family time is ever-present.
The wait is finally over, Fall brings in full-blown apple trees just waiting to be picked and cherished. I head out to my backyard where I can hear the laughter and cheer from families apple picking in the near distance. Families from all over travel to this farm for the sweet and yummy apples it provides. The anticipation of this time of year is finally over; the trees have reached their fullest potential. Personally, apple picking has provided my family and I with a collection of memories that are heartwarming and genuine. Through these memories, apple trees have brought not only my family closer together but other families as well.
Just like that Winter blows in, for the last step of the apple tree life cycle. The trees can finally rest. They develop a protective layer of fuzz to protect them from the harsh weather that they are about to endure. As the weather gets colder, it feels like everything begins to slow down. I use this time to reflect on all the different stages that I have gone through during the year.
And then the cycle repeats itself.
Morgan is a 20 year old SUNY Cortland student. Her major is Early Childhood Education with a concentration in Environmental Studies.
Photo credit: Apple tree flower by Jonas Bergsten from Wikimedia commons.