MPW.65 / Trenton Apple Revival: A Family’s Quest to Resurrect an Abandoned Orchard by Dustin Michelson
Photographer
Dustin Michelson San Diego, California
Team Gilka

Story Summary

Overgrown with Mulberry trees, weeds, poison ivy, and other vines, the Lehman family’s newly purchased orchard took well into the spring to clear well enough to even prune the trees. Now, after a year of hard work, they were able to nurse the trees back to health to produce apples for this fall’s harvest.

When David and Ruth Lehman moved onto the property in January of 2013, they knew they had a large task at hand. Three of their four sons, and one of their four daughters also live with them in an old house on the property that they plan to renovate to its original condition. The Lehman’s plan to follow a simple approach to growing their produce, using environmentally sound methods of growing, utilizing animals, including pigs, bats, and chickens to accomplish what spraying pesticides would.

Despite the hardships that come along with restoring the orchard, David still abides by the orchard’s ultimate meaning. “I just believe this is where the Lord wanted us to come.”