[NAFEX] changing jobs - fruit interests

Mauch1 at aol.com Mauch1 at aol.com
Thu Jun 5 11:50:37 EDT 2003


I know this is a late response to this message, but
I was on vacation last week and am only now catching 
up.  Rob's message resonated with me, so I wanted to 
respond.  Plus, I wanted to comment on some of the
responses.

My response to the responses :-)

Hector, I would love to hear from you regarding your
life path, either via private e-mail, or through this
forum.

(*WARNING* this section off-topic)
Fluffy, you have been a great source of advice and help
to me in the time we've been on this forum, and much
of what you said was eminently true.  Though I'd like
to know what liberal concepts you find to be stupid, and
although I've been a registered Republican since I could
vote (I find myself lately calling myself the last liberal
Republican), I find the current batch of conservatives in 
power to be highly disturbing in that I see them increasing 
the differential between rich and poor, and very possibly 
destroying our world for the future.  
(*END WARNING*)

My response to Rob's message:

>I am pretty new a fruit culture, but I am finding it
>really interesting...more interesting than what I am
>doing now.
I'm not as new to the fruit culture as you, but I find 
that I find fruit more interesting than what I do for
pay.

>Let me back-up a bit.
>I am about 36 years old and I am working at Spelman
>College and lab tech and teacher of Computer Graphics.
I'm going to be 40 this year.  I'm married and have
3 3/4 yr old twin boys and another boy 2 yr old singleton.
I work for a large company developing applications.
 
<<It's a nice job with pretty good perks, but I am not
as interested in computers as I once was.  ...  I 
bought my first house about 6
years ago with 1/4 acre lot. I had no interest in
plants at all then (which is why I got the small lot),
but with constant prodding ... "grass does not put food on
the table, so why am I spending so much time with
it!". I thought about what I said and it clicked. If I
am going to work in the yard, it needs to be something
I enjoy. Suddenly, I thought fruit trees! Why not! So
I started and haven't stopped yet. Now most of my free
time I am reading books and web pages and planting
anything and everything in the yard. I have planted
many trees and bushes. I have met many wonderful
people who have encouraged me.  Most of them on this
list! I have learned more that I have ever wanted to
know about fruit culture and I am still a novice. ...
 getting deeper
and deeper in to the hobby with no way out. :)  >>
I was lucky in that I knew when we bought our house, 
I wanted at least an acre, and ended up w/ two.  The 
cost of this, "of course" is that I live further out
than the average commuter.  Since my computer career
is now causing me to commute to Delaware, I have over
an hour commute each way to work, which cuts into 
gardening and family time.  The increase planting 
unfortunately does not seem to reduce grass cutting 
time.

<<Today I see a crossroad coming and I am not sure of
what to do. Do I keep this as just a hobby (and get
buy more land) or do I make it really work for me. I
have no formal training in horticulture. Do I go back
to school, and if so what do I do when I get out? Will
this be a fruit thing be just a passing fancy, or will
I start breeding my own cultivars.>>
Well, getting more land for me is unlikely.  In the six
years since we bought our house, prices have skyrocketed
for housing and land in our area.  I don't feel the yard
(or house) gets all the attention it could use, so
an additional piece of land would probably become more 
burden than benefit.  To completely switch over to a 
horticultural career would be financially traumatic, 
and to get more land would involve moving to where there's
many less people (and jobs).  (I read or heard once that
if you don't have land, and want to be a farmer, plan to
marry a farmer's daughter.)  I actually am attempting to 
breed/raise my own cultivars, but am having more frustration
than satisfaction (Current breeding projects involve
peas, watermelon, roses, and backburner breeding project
involves Passiflora).  I also have the fear of turning
something that I love into a career that I hate.  So for
the moment I'm leaving this as a hobby.

<<I know, these are questions I need answer myself, but
I always found it good to hear for others about their
journeys and what they do.>>
I also recommend Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken"
Good luck on choosing what you want to do.

SE PA, last year a desert, this year a rain forest.

Chris Mauchline
SE PA, zone 6
40° 5' N    75° 51'W
~650 ft elevation



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