Blueberry Fields Forever (with pictures)


I thought I would be done for the season by now, either due to weather or injury. But the water is still running, the ground not yet frozen, and with care I can use my arm again.

A few weeks ago, my rib blew. It was caused by too much exertion and it was my own fault. I’d been ignoring my body’s warning signals for days in an effort to meet a self-imposed fall planting deadline but I was benched in one awful hurry. Moving, breathing, things like that were excruciating. After two weeks of some very good drugs and much needed rest, I am somewhat operational again. I still can’t plant but I can use the tractor. I’m happy the weather is holding so I can spread the 7 dump trucks loads of mulch I had delivered the other day. I may be stumbling across the finish line of this long season bow legged and broken but I am thrilled with the progress. My deer fence is finished, and over 1000 plants are in the ground.

planting this fall planting this fall


one side of the deer fence one side of the deer fence
before the piles of clay were removed, the irrigation laid, and mulch added. before the piles of clay were removed, the irrigation laid, and mulch added

I owe thanks to so many people! Friends and my family have supported me and contributed in so many ways; planting, digging holes for the plants, cutting trees for the deer fence, bush-hogging, laying irrigation lines and punching in emitters, watering, weeding, mowing, spreading sulphur and mulch, carrying peat moss, picking out rocks and clay, making meals, tilling, the list goes on. It has been a hard seven months and, without question, I could not have done it by myself. Literally, as I write, tears of gratitude blur my eyes. A very special thank you to Nancy and Brent who were here for over two months helping me.

At some point in every big project there comes a time when enthusiasm wanes and nothing is left but a lot of hard work. It usually doesn’t take much to make me smile but especially during the times when I was alone and the day was long that simple things gave me a lot pleasure – the smell of fresh pine mulch, seeing perfect root growth on the “bare root” plants that I potted in the spring as I gently took them from their containers to plant this fall, getting a full load of mulch on the tractor loader on the first try, or just looking at my blueberry fields and realizing how far I have come and how much I have learned this year.

My friend, Nancy Ramadan, told me, there will be blueberries at the end of your rainbow. I really hope she’s right.

4 responses »

  1. Arlene you had a dream…you researched thoroughly…pursued….took action and today you look out on the fruit (not quite yet 🙂 of your labours. You spent many a long day alone in the field relentlessly working away through sunshine and rain. Not to downplay the aches and pains at the end of each day as well. You are such an example of resilience and what can be achieved if you only believe and aren’t afraid to work hard to realize your dream. Of all of us who helped no one worked harder than you. I am a BELIEVER in you and your dream and I will proudly stand beside you in the spring as you watch the buds forming as the sun warms your face and you look out proudly over all you have achieved. Very proud of you and to call you a friend. Hugs Nancy

  2. Your friend Nancy speaks the truth. Hope the rib is mending and that the winter months bring you an opportunity to rest a wee bit on your laurels ( and backside) . In case you have not yet realized it, you are no longer 22 and your body needs a little time out!

    • Hi Karen, The winter months will bring me a new adventure (Next post:)). There will be no laurel or backside resting but my body will enjoy an extended change of pace, scenery and headspace which, as the saying goes, is as good as a rest. Hope you are well and would love to see you sometime. Arlene

  3. You are a dear friend Nancy. Your generosity of spirit and your kindness are a shining light to those around you and I am truly grateful to have you in my life. Thank you for your belief in me, for your help, and for the support you have shown me every step of the way. I love you to pieces. Arlene xo

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