Friday, October 31, 2008

Doing Nothing

Sometimes doing nothing is the best policy. Not very often, especially when you are trying to encourage things to develop in a certain direction, but once in a while it works. Usually we are not brave enough to try the do nothing approach, feeling that we must be in control. The option usually presents it's self when the urgent overwhelms the important, and everything else gets short shrift. This is what happened with our blue berries. They were planted with high hopes and great fanfare this past spring, nursed along until the beginning of the summer rush, and then promptly ignored. The weeds consumed the bed. Soon it was covered in six foot tall thistle and poke weed. As I went about my day I searched for other things to look at rather than face the wrack and ruin that was the blue berry bed.

Today was clean-up day. The detritus from splitting wood that had covered the yard near the house was raked into piles and needed to find a useful place to decompose. Bravely, thinking that the bark and wood chips would make nice mulch around the blue berries, I poked my head into the forest of thistle stalks to see if anything had survived. What a happy surprise to see the crimson leaves of the blue berries shining in the sun amongst the thistle stalks. The suicide chickens had gotten in there and cleaned out all the other weeds, so it looked like a perfectly nice bed at ground level. The thistle, now quite dead and surprisingly shallow rooted, popped right out and the mulch went in to settle the bed for the winter. All the blue berries survived. I think the shade of the weeds protected them from the ravages of our hot dry summer. Serendipity.

6 comments:

Rob said...

Good luck with the blueberries. We've not had great luck with ours and are moving them, to use their space for cordoned apples.

nancybond said...

Serendipitous, indeed. Yes, good luck with the blueberries. We are major blueberry producers here in Nova Scotia, so the soil must be friendly for them. :)

inadvertentfarmer said...

LOL, thistles in your blueberry bed...thistles in my strawberry bed, seems like we've got a theme going here! Glad your blueberres survived the neglect!

Shibaguyz said...

We're putting in our blueberries this year... hope they are survivors like yours!

jack-of-all-thumbs said...

OK. I'll bite. "Suicide chickens'?

As for doing nothing. You really stink at it (based on parts 1 and 2).

But I think you've figured out that 'doing nothing' accomplishes a lot.

Alan said...

While the blueberries survived, my do nothing method will cost me at least seven years of pulling thistles to keep the bed clean from here on. Probably not the most labor saving method.

Jack, the "suicide chickens" are a group from my flock that, despite my best (and apparently entertaining) efforts to catch and contain them, keep escaping and spend most of their time playing chicken on the road. They seem to have a death wish, but so far they still survive.

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