Monday, August 23, 2010

The mystery of plant life

Berry delicious
When I was growing up in Nashville (Ontario), we had a neighbour named Mr. Mulder, long before the X-Files TV series made Fox Mulder a household name.  Mr. Mulder lived by himself in a humble kind of a home, I think he may have had a barn or two, and he had the most incredible raspberry patch.  On warm summer days you could find him in a straw hat picking his berries, always willing to share a few with the local kids.  Mr. Mulder's berry's were so juicy, so sweet and succulent, and Mr. Mulder was just a nice man.  Perhaps it was this subconscious memory that caused me to load up my cart with berry bushes this spring while wandering through the local Canadian Tire.  I used a tractor roto-tiller to turn over the soil in last year's failed vegetable garden and spent a day digging in my bushes, along with a peach tree, a couple of cherry trees and some strawberry plants, all the while thinking that this garden will be easy to maintain.  When the weeds come, I'll just run the push roto-tiller through the rows and before I know it I'll be picking fruit for the table.  I applied some fertilizer and forgot about my garden until about 2 weeks ago.  Well, apparently the weeds like fertilizer too.  There were plants in there with 1 inch stalks - dense, ugly weeds.  What to do?  I mentioned to Debbie and Darlene, my gardening experts, that I thought a bush wacker might be the solution.  True to character, these 2 good Samaritans snuck into my back yard one afternoon and pulled all the weeds.  I was overwhelmed.  And lo and behold, in behind all those now relocated weeds were bunches of juicy, so sweet and succulent raspberries ripe for the picking.  I've since put down some weed barrier and mulch in hopes that I can control things a little better, but without Debbie and Darlene, I'd be in quite a pickle!

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