Fresh Nothing Alert — Shakespeare and Sherlock Predict Strawberries.

“IT IS NOT an airy nothing,” said Sherlock Holmes to Doctor Watson. “On the contrary, it is solid enough for a man to break his hand over.”

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This week’s crop alert is about nothing—no crops ready to pick—but something all the same. Something solid enough to break one’s hands over.

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One’s farmhands, that is. Oh, they usually don’t break. We hope they don’t break. They bend and they sway, but we hope they don’t break.

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They swing and they sway, and they sing through the day. They are synchronized swimmers in a sea of small trees.

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But really they are hands. More than legs, backs, and boots, they are hands with opposable thumbs… and the dexterity thereby conferred.

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They are hands that graft and bud and tape and tie.

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Hands that hold and crimp and fold and snip. Hands that trust each other—that trust little brother—with the mashing mandibular crimpers.

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Okay, they are faces, too. Like our newest import from the Cumberland Gap—way down where they grow premium rednecks, er, red beards.

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And another pair of hands, working a different kind of wire. Not a deer fence, but a vineyard trellis. Training grapevines to grow down the line.

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That’d be Alex, our neighbor to the north, just a shalestone skippety-skip across Indian Creek. Which makes his vineyard our Canada, and him our Canuck.

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His tea-drinking pinkie, a nod to the Crown?

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And Tommy’s tiny seedlings, not yet in the ground.

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It is all hands on deck when a clod jams the gear.

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And pruning by hand the first trees of the year.

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But what is this something? This something that is not a crop… yet not an airy nothing? This rock-solid thing to break your hands over?

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It is an idea, a promise. That if you keep plugging away, and steering your tractor toward the flag, you will pull good people in.

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Folks will gather when strawberries pop. Bushels of apples will have pickers to pick them. Familiar faces will come to the farmstand.

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A great big family of intrepid picker-poets whose imagination, as Shakespeare taught us, “gives to airy nothing
 a local habitation and a name.”

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Yes, that’s the thing—the nothing that is actually something. “Aye,” cried Holmes, “that’s the genius and the wonder of the thing!”

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Well, Farm Fans, that is our Midspring Night’s Dream—you coming out to pick strawberries in “6”… The sixth month. June will be here soon.

Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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9 Responses to Fresh Nothing Alert — Shakespeare and Sherlock Predict Strawberries.

  1. Marguerite Fuller says:

    Great blog! What are you grafting there? I didn’t see anything attached under the tape, that I could tell. So curious!

    • Thanks, Marguerite. Those are just apple roostocks and we insert a “chip bud” of scion wood into the rootstock. There is a little chip bud beneath the tape, poking out the top a tiny bit.

  2. Cheryl says:

    thanks for the earthy and airy poetry!

  3. rabbitsinger says:

    trees and all their buddy crops must love being at the farm
    where such care, happiness, and fun abounds.

  4. Ann says:

    Miss you guys, it’s been a long winter…in Pennsylvania

  5. nothingness is everything – happy nothingness until somethingness is ready to pick! just the best blogs from the creek!

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