W Is For Walnuts, Why Not?

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 11.04.11 AM“Walnuts and pears you plant for your heirs.”

This proverb, which I suspect has been around as long as the English language as allowed “pears” and “heirs” to rhyme, is a wonderful nod to the wisdom of days gone by.

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It’s an insight into how our ancestors approached the land.  They used the land to grow food and planned ahead in a way that I admire, yet do not want to emulate.

Zen-Den and I, being the modern suburbanites that we are, have been attentive to the need to improve our land, in a 21st century way, since the first day we got here.

DSCN7180Except for The Big Dig Project when we purchased 110 tons of dirt to form a backyard, most of our gardening efforts have been modest, with visible results in a year or two.

We attempt to beautify.

Like today, for instance, when, with your permission my gentle readers, I’ll go busy myself outside with a bit of weeding.  In the pretty garden.  Where the only thing edible is dandelion greens!

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Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Looking for the crumb of truth in the cookie of life.

43 thoughts on “W Is For Walnuts, Why Not?”

  1. I linked back to “The Big Dig” post – had forgotten what the yard looked like before. However you saw the vision still amazes and delights me. Thanks and as we near “Z,” congratulations on a wonderful set of Alphabet food entries. Brilliant writing, photography and editing. I trust your gentle readers agree with me, for this series as well as for all that you write. It makes me happier and life better. You make a difference, my Dear Bean.

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    1. Zen-Den, I know what you mean about The Big Dig photos. I’d forgotten, too, about what a mess we had back there. Now, so pretty. Thanks for all the compliments. I do what I can to make everyone happier, better informed, and filled with laughter &/or snark. Take your pick.

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  2. I like this proverb; it is rich with lots of other meanings, too, about patience, trees, and a sense of responsibility and ownership of future generations. So much of all of that is lacking lately, and not simply from a single Generation (i.e. The Millennials). I’m disturbed by a trend of Selfishness that seems to permeate American Society. (I limit it to American only because that is what I can confidently observe and speak to.) In an age of Super-Connectedness, there is a shocking lack of real heartfelt connections.

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    1. nance, I thought this proverb was profound, too. It has a literal meaning, but speaks to, as you said, “a sense of responsibility and ownership” toward the future. I agree whole-heartedly with you about the selfishness [selfie-ness?] that I encounter too often. It tires my spirit, and makes me re-consider a hermit lifestyle.

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  3. Your saying reminds me of the nursery rhyme:

    I had a little nut tree,
    Nothing would it bear,
    But a silver nutmeg
    And a golden pear

    Why would a nut tree bear a golden pear? Very strange.
    Have a lovely time in the garden! Hope to get out to mine too later.

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    1. Patricia Lynne, I know what you mean. I don’t mind weeding because I think about things I don’t like, then I imagine myself pulling them out of my life. But trimming back bushes makes me crazy. I don’t want to limit anything. Weird, I know.

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  4. That makes me think I need to plant a veggie garden this weekend. The weeding I reluctantly had to hand off to a landscaping crew, it feels like I have failed as a gardener, but it sure is nice to look at the garden and only see a bed of weeds.
    Really nice post!

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    1. SD Gates, we have landscapers come in early Spring to do a clean-up, but then the rest of it is up to me and my husband to maintain. I see nothing wrong with hiring someone else do some gardening chores now and then. One must be practical, mustn’t one?

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    1. Sarah, I shudder to think of me ever making wine out of any vegetation of any sort. I’m just not that good with fermentation and bottling and patience. But if you want to make dandelion wine, I know a pachysandra bed that has a couple of bottles worth of leaves!

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      1. I am seriously considering making some this year – I am supposed to be making a cider, but there are dandelions everywhere, and really, the cider can wait. In related news, this is why I have about a thousand unfinished projects at my house.

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  5. This one’s entirely new to me! But I do envy you your garden. I have lots of public green space, but there’s something about a garden.

    I’m terrible with plants, though, so it’s probably safest for everyone.

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    1. I.L. Wolf, I like this proverb. It seems charming and time-honored. Of course, I won’t be planting any pears or walnuts, but I like the figurative meaning of the proverb. And that’s something.

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      1. Huh. Now I really want you to plant both pears and walnuts. And make a nice Pear-walnut-blue cheese salad.

        I’m hungry. I think it’s lunch time.

        But I agree, it’s very charming. 🙂

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  6. I’m pining to do a bit of weeding. I find it very therapeutic 🙂 Too tired after work though, so indulging in reading and commenting instead. It’s therapeutic too. Hope you enjoyed gardening today.

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      1. I don’t know where you are, but here in Birmingham England, the weather has been bonkers! It’s been snowing, and yes there were thunder and all sorts in the last few days… I didn’t manage to garden either. One day…

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    1. sarahallanauthor, I like proverbs, too. The wisdom of the ages in them. Never got outside because it rained all day. I like to garden, but not in the mud.

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  7. I love working outside, but sometimes am overwhelmed by the amount of weeding and planting that I need to do. I also let my back lawn get way too long and now will have the devil of a time mowing it. 😦

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    1. Margaret, I know what you mean. I’d hoped to go outside and weed during the week to get ahead of it all, but the rain kept me inside. Now everything is so tall and ratty looking. *sigh*

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  8. That’s a lovely saying, and one I had never heard before. But it makes sense. Dad’s fruit trees have all died (except for the inedible apple) but he was always hopeful that they would provide vast quantities of fruit for him.

    I love dandelions, by the way. I understand why people don’t want them all over their lawns but I’ve always thought they were so cheerful and pretty.

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    1. Zazamataz, I like the proverb, too. Fruit trees are hopeful, and as for nut trees, I thought they just happened courtesy of squirrels! I’m a modern gardening girl.

      I agree about the dandelions. They are pretty, but somehow ended up a weed. Their PR agent needs to be fired.

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  9. Weeding in the garden reminds me of the weeding we need to do in an inner way – clearing our hearts and minds of clutter/stuff that choke us up and by getting rid of the weeds, allows more energy to flow …
    Isn’t that dandelion pretty! I remember we used to blow on it and make a wish (I still do of course)

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    1. Susan Scott, I agree about the need for inner gardening. Well said. When we were kids we blew on dandelions to make a wish, too. As adults we try to get rid of dandelions, the wish givers. There’s a message in there, somewhere.

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