Sunday, April 27, 2008

raspberry canes

The Writer’s Shed is not even in the most formative stages of construction yet and still I feel the need to roll up my sleeves and do my part to improve the land where it is to be built. And so I head out to Ed’s farmette to weed, prune and chop.

Initially, I set my sights on clearing the huge raspberry patch of dead canes. There are more dead canes than live fruit bearing ones and so it seems like a worthwhile task.

It is certainly an unpleasant task. The canes scratch. Some of them crack at a snap, others are dead but stubbornly clinging to their pod. It’s all a terrific mess. But, I am to be part of this grand landscape and so I pitch in.

I watch Isis, the friendlier of the two Ed cats, move out of the canes and towards the still to be removed shed and I think – buddy, you have one easy life.

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Right to the side of Ed's raspberry jungle, Cha and his wife are engaged in their own farming challenge: the planting of new raspberry canes.

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Such grueling work! I want to say -- here, just harvest Ed’s berries!

But I know that this would not be helpful. Ed's berries, in their uncontrolled habitat, could not support what this family needs --a bounty. A harvest that will pay their bills.

And so we continue. I destroy dead canes, they plant new ones. We pause to exchange Sunday greetings and then resume our respective chores. Snap, pull, discard. Dig, plant, pat down.

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