Warmer days beckon the kids outdoors,
and I follow,
knowing the silent work that lies dormant
is soon to awake.
I head up to the black raspberry patch,
determined to conquer the mess.
My wagon quickly fills.
The future farmer has lately become intrigued with what I am doing.
The other day he wanted to be lifted up to see how I washed the clothes in
the washing machine.
I made it sound heaps of fun,
hoping to combine the clothes-washing with a bit of brain-washing.
Pruning was definitely of much more interest to him.
I showed to him the branches,
explaining that we leave them almost as tall
as the lower level of the trellis;
and that we find the bud that aims along the trellis,
the direction we want the new branch to grow,
and then prune directly above it.
The new shoot will grow,
and we'll be able to fasten it to the trellis for support.
"The purple branches are alive,"
The brown branches are dead and should be cut off at the ground.
He loses interest after encountering one rather beefy dead shoot,
and I finish off the patch while he prunes
some weaker weed patches.
The end result is rewarding,
and I dream of the future large black berries
we'll be picking...
my laundry blows dry on the line,
and a nap-ready child has taken up residence in my empty basket.
"Violet, could you hang up this basket of laundry for me?"
The old branches are placed on the burn pile
for the bonfire Farmer to tend to when he gets home.
The next time I get outside,
I need to get that blueberry patch pruned,
as well as the grape vines
and apple trees beyond.
I'm thinking I hear spring.