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.”


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.


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.


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


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


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


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


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


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.


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.


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


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


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


And pruning by hand the first trees of the year.


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?


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.


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


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


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


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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