How to Be a Johnny Appleseed

Organic Farmer Sowing Seed Woodcut Retro

A legendary example of the NOURISHER Archetype is John Chapman, the historical person remembered as Johnny Appleseed. Chapman was a professional nurseryman who traveled by foot across several Midwestern U.S. states, sowing apple seeds to create abundant orchards. Mainly these apples were used for making  hard cider or applejack, and Chapman established use of the lands he sowed so he amassed a large amount of property. But he also had noble ambitions, e.g.:

“ Johnny Appleseed’s dream was for a land where blossoming apple trees were everywhere and no one was hungry. A gentle and kind man, he slept outdoors and walked barefoot around the country planting apple seeds everywhere he went.”

Save Plant

Some of Chapman’s apple seeds flourished while many did not. But he scattered so many seeds that enough would take root to spawn fruitful orchards that would last for many generations. Here was a NOURISHER who never stopped giving of himself through his knowledge and his literal ‘legwork’ to accomplish his dream.

In what ways might you practice a Johnny Appleseed ambition? What can you do to give abundantly of yourself and to realize your greatest talents, simple as they might be?

My sister has a good friend who has retired from high school teaching. In recent years after a trip she took to Nicaragua, she has formed an informal organization through which she collects donations and then buys and furnishes school books and she also gives out scholarships to Nicaraguan children who might otherwise not be able to attend or to afford school. Many of these students have by now gone on to higher education and to useful jobs. My sister’s friend continues to give from and to grow this fund. She receives nothing in return financially from this act of love and service; she gives because she can; and, because she cares.


Planting seeds is a great metaphor for any endeavor. Even maintaining positive, good thoughts might be a Johnny Appleseed sort of activity; your good thoughts can bear many fruitful outcomes. Pruning negative thoughts and replacing them with strong, life affirming, generous beliefs and ambitions can help you sow a lifetime of golden apples!

Apples in a basket on rustic background

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