I look at my field and can’t believe I have plants that are, if not laden with blueberries, certainly sprinkled with them. Last April when my brother Greg and I were crawling his truck 16 hours back home from the plant nursery in Michigan, the trailer tires bulging under 6000 pounds of young plant stock, I’d prayed with every fibre of my pagan soul that we would make it home without blowing a tire and successfully cross the border back into Canada. I had done my homework and in my naïve and delusional state I believed that if I could just get my plants to Balderson, the battle was won. In hindsight, the war hadn’t even started.
The reasonably well ordered and tended field that now sits outside my kitchen window betrays no hint of the emotional bloodbath that spawned it. The rows of plants, today whimsically blowing in the breeze, don’t come with contextual battle scars from the overwhelming arrival of a full tractor-trailer load of peat moss, the bone crushing work of saturating it with water and working it into the soil, trying to figure out how to construct and install an irrigation system out of the load of pipes and parts delivered into my driveway, or the hours of spreading eighteen dump truck loads of mulch to cover it all. The wheelbarrows, the dust, the tears and the terror are just a hazy memory – well, maybe not the dust… I’m fairly certain there are still earthy reservoirs embedded in my ears.
Last spring I had a vision and hope and that’s about it. Today, that vision began to coalesce into reality.
On Saturday morning my good friends and neighbours, the Truelove’s, arrived, parked in my ‘parking area’ and we wandered up and down rows picking blueberries. Imagine: blueberries! I know three pints picked does not financial success make – in fact they are possibly the most expensive blueberries in the history of the world. But this first meagre harvest feels momentous to me and deeply exciting. Like, I am on my way. Like, this crazy idea might actually happen.