The Genesis of the Arborist Approach

I promise to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth…

If you are reading this then I feel safe saying that we all at some time or another wonder about the state of the world and what could be done to, not make it perfect, but just make it (the world) a little better.

So I, like so many, sat in deep meditation one day contemplating the problems that I saw in (society, the country, the world, pick your scale) and trying to come up with some solution that was actually feasible. The following is the telling of the birth of the Arborist Approach, the solution that came to me on that wondrous day.

A simple string of words presented themselves to my mind, “Plant a fruit bearing tree in every yard…”. At the time I was living in Tennessee. Here the yards are large and spacious. But for the most part all grass and ornamental trees.

“Plant a fruit bearing tree in every yard.”

I arose from my meditation, my mind a buzz, yet just beyond actual articulation of the thing that was an itch in my psyche. I stepped out front and began to look up and down my street. I began to imagine a full mature Cherry tree in each of the front lawns up and down this street. I closed my eyes and saw pink / white flower petals flowing like snow in the late spring breeze.

I saw kids grabbing cherries on their walks home from school.

I began to see neighbors coming together to make cherry preserves, cherry pies, cherry everything!

And as I began to smile my mind began to pan out from my little street. To take on that birds eye view of higher truth. I saw not just my street, not just my neighborhood but the entire city of Jackson awash in flowers from the myriad of varieties of stone fruit trees. Apricots, plums, peaches, nectarines… All through out the city were fruit bearing trees in bloom. It was as if the entire town had become a mixed fruit orchard.

I marveled at the beauty and recognized the awesome survival and environmental utility that a fruit bearing tree in every yard could bring to a community. But, how do we make it happen? Short of legislating it (which I do not feel that at this moment I have the gravitas or connections to get passed), how can we make this real?

“Let the children lead the way.”

“Let the children lead the way, what does that mean?”

I then began to see elementary school kids, first graders to be exact. They were in there class room each with a pot for a plant before them. They were planting seeds in their pots as the teacher spoke on the project they were embarking on,

“Over the next 6 months it will be your job to care for this seed. To ensure germination (she explains the term) and a vital healthy life until it is time to transfer to a bigger pot.

I see on the face of the children awe and wonder ( and some bored as hell, and others teasing the person next to them). But it was done. Each of those children planted their own seed.

Each of those children brought that seed to life, a fruit tree was born, actually 30 of them were.

And then that 30 multiplied by the number of first grade classes in the school, and then the number of elementary schools in the town. Then that was expressed in my mind over time.

There it was.

If we give a seed of a fruit bearing tree to every elementary school child that we are already paying to educate. If we gives these seeds and charge these bright young minds with the germination and care of these seeds. Any, and I mean Any, city, town, school district could turn it self into a mature mixed fruit orchard in the time it takes a child to move from first grade to graduation.!

And the Arborist Approach was born…

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