Cleaning the Brambles

On the first work day of this new year we found ourselves cleaning the wild blackberry patch. Last year we dug a 175′ long trench three feet wide along the middle of our field to drain the strawberry beds and the apple orchard of excess rainwater.  The trench runs north and south and since our field sits on a gentle southerly slope, all the water drains away from our crops rather nicely. But last summer we watched in horror as the ditch (which stays dry during the warm season) filled with weed after weed. We pondered many ways to keep the weeds out without the use of herbicides and could only come up with hard, back-breaking weed pulling as an immediate solution. You can only imagine how delighted we were when we began to see tiny blackberry plants springing up. Voila! Weed problem solved. Now the dry-ditch is our Wild Blackberry Patch.

It took Monday and Tuesday to rid that ditch (which is rather soggy with mud and ice this time of year) of weeds and grass and tiny trees and rocks and some other things we couldn’t identify. But the job is done! Now there is a beautifully cleaned 525 square foot wild blackberry patch that stretches from the top of our field to the bottom. The blackberry plant are tiny and young so it will be at least two more summers before we see our first bloom. But that’s okay. Before long the ditch will be filled with these wild brambles thus eliminating the need to weed. Oh, the head rails/bridge rails are the beginnings to the bridge that will connect both sides of the field; it’ll be perfect for pushing the wheelbarrow over.

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