Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Bumper crop of berries hiding in the weeds

I needed a break this morning from bend-and-stoop gardening so I wandered over to the berry patch to see what was up.

"Weeds" would be the obvious answer; in fact, anyone observing from a distance would wonder why we're cultivating that massive patch of jewelweed, ironweed, and other tall gangly wildflowers.

But as I pulled out a few of those tall stalks, I immediately started noticing something else: berries--lots of 'em. They're not ripe yet, but we're well on the way to a bumper crop of blackberries.

Pulling weeds in the blackberry patch can be very rewarding: you can do it standing up, which gives the bend-and-stoop muscles a break, and many of the tall weeds slide right up out of the ground without a fuss. Jewelweed is especially easy to pull, the only disadvantage being that the flowers smell like rotting vegetation. But as I reached further into the patch and pulled out weed after weed, I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment: in just a short time I'd revealed the hidden wonders of the berry patch, which promises much deliciousness later on.

Of course there's much more to do--I just cleared one corner of the blackberry patch, leaving behind some especially tough weeds too slick to pull up without gloves, and I'm not going into the raspberry section without long sleeves and long pants. (And maybe eye protection--ask me sometime about the guy we know who had to get six stitches in his EYEBALL after an errant raspberry vine whipped across his face and tore it open.) But I made a visible dent in the problem simply by pulling up one weed and then another and another.

Now I need to do the same with my journal article. The goal is to produce a complete draft by the end of the week--but the only way to get there is to tackle one little bit at a time. I just hope the final result will be as rewarding as the seven ripe raspberries I picked this morning. Not quite a bumper crop, but there's plenty more on the way.

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