The soil is being prepared in our soon-to-be-planted fruit orchard, another exciting chapter in our agricultural endeavors. Next month we will get the trees, which should bear fruit within two years. They will join our existing “lonesome apple” already in the space where the orchard will be.

The varieties of trees we are getting, which are especially hearty in colder climates such as ours, and cultivated in our high desert setting are as follows:

Clapp’s Favorite Pear (mature size is around 15 – 20 feet tall. Easy to harvest!)

Magness Pear

Summercrisp Pear

Wickson Apple

Sops of Wine Apple

Cortland Apple

Lobo Apple (originally from Canada)

Crimson Beauty Apple (from New Brunswick, Canada)

Albemarle Pippin Apple (the oldest commercially grown American apple, dating back to 1666, in Newton Village, Long Island. Well-liked by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and Queen Victoria!)

Psalm 148, which we chant each morning at Lauds (along with Psalm 149 and 150) says it all:

“All mountains and hills, all fruit trees and cedars, beasts wild and tame, reptiles and birds on the wing . . . Let them praise the name of the Lord.”

With our warm greetings and prayers,

Abbot Christian and the monks