04 September 2011

The Little Blackberry Bush That Could

When we moved here, we inherited lots of rundown things, among them a weedy, unkempt garden.  Most of the vegetables were mere skeletons, tangled and dried up.  There were two survivors though.  A pair of blackberry bushes that struggled to gulp up sunlight among the mess of dead leaves.

One of our favorite methods of cleaning?  Burn it!  Thank goodness Iowa allows country folk to use controlled fire as a way to keep weeds and brush under control.  It is extremely effective and if done in the proper way under ideal conditions, it barely requires any work on the part of the supervisor.

The garden was in need of some "deep cleaning" so we waited for a mild day and gathered our supplies--rakes, buckets of water, a hose and a box of matches.

It took no more than a few minutes for the flames to consume the dehydrated vegetation.  The fire was so effective that it burned down the weak little blackberries.


This story has a happy ending though.  While one blackberry bush didn't survive the scorching heat, the other petite blackberry bush had a can do attitude.  Bit by bit, green growth sprouted and the bush revived.  He was eventually removed and given his own spot on the top of a sloping hill by the driveway.

And now he's not so little anymore.
He's been doing well basking in full sunlight.  That and not being blistered by any more flames.

He's not alone either.  A few other "friends" have joined him.
I'm not a big berry eater but having them from our own patch is strangely satisfying.  We often stroll out after dinner and share a sweet, tart snack.  It doesn't get much fresher than that.


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