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The Story of Jeff and Sasha's Orchard

"Last year the board members of the farmers market decided that we wanted to honor Jeff Scott in some way. It seemed fitting that we continue his work as a farmer and educator. It's a very small start, however we would like to offer the Jeff Scott Legacy Grant for the 2017 season. Perhaps from this small start we can one day see this idea grow."
Paired story: Jeff Scott Legacy Grant created for Farmers Market

By Barbara Armitage

It's hard when you hear that a dear friend has died. When I got the call about my friend Jeff Scott my first thought was "but..." there was still so much more for him to do. He had apples and peaches to pick and sell at the market, who was going to take care of his orchard?

Jeff had a plan. He knew exactly what he would one day leave behind.

4 years ago, when Jeff told me about his young friend Sasha I asked him to write the story down and in true Jeff fashion he told me that he didn't get along with computers, couldn't type worth a darn and was just plain more comfortable talking about things than writing about them. He finally relented agreeing to write the story on paper with the understanding that I would type it up for him. There was one more condition to the story - I wouldn't be allowed to post it anywhere until the trees were producing and Sasha came to the market to sell the apples and peaches.

Five handwritten pages (double spaced because Jeff was a teacher) have sat in my in-box for the past 4 years.

This is the story of Jeff and Sasha's Orchard:
One of my former students came by a few years ago, to get some apples. I had just planted a new block of apple trees and he looked at me and said "You must be awfully optimistic to do this at your age!" I guess I am, for I am even older now and have just completed another block of peaches and apples. But this time I have some younger help - Sasha.

I've known Sasha since he was a child as his family have picked apples for the Nashville Farmers Market on Thursday for several years. They and we also work together to make apple cider. They are organic farmers in Metcalfe County. Many years they have had interns who have come to learn the organic method and they have come from all over the world! They also have come on Thursday to pick apples and press cider and Sasha and I have met people from Australia to Austria.

Since Sasha has been around apples since a child, I thought it only natural that I talk to him at the ripe old age of thirteen to see if he had interest in the apples and peaches. When I told him that I would plant him twenty-five peach trees to pick and care for, his response was "Is that all?" My answer was let's begin with thirty and see how you like it - we can always plant more. So, I actually purchased thirty peaches and fifteen apples for him. Those have been planted and with good luck should be producing in three to five years. Now let's see in three years with average of our two ages will be 43 - not too old to be optimistic!!
The trees that Jeff and Sasha planted and cared for are now producing fruit because they have been loved and nurtured. I think that's the way Jeff saw the world.

This story was posted on 2017-02-06 05:31:14
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