1,000 Blackberry Roots

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The blackberry digging continues. I counted rougly 1,000 roots left to pull in a small area about the size of a basketball court. It’s not so bad. They come out fast at over 50 an hour. So I chip away each day.

But I’ve discovered there different root types depending on soil, access to water, and age. Some root balls must be decades old — huge, deep-rooted gnarls. Others are brand new, sending twisting tendril roots spreading three feet in every direction. And others still are toddler roots, finger-width, sneaking underground to send up single tender test-shoots.

Today on my 200th root, I realized that 1) there are more likely closer to 3,000 plants, 2) they utilize multiple strategies to outwit me, and 3) even after all the roots are out this fall, they will find a way back in the spring.

They do all of this without thinking. It’s built into their DNA. Adjust, adapt, re-root, twist-and-turn, test, try, enlist backups, and reinvent.

The blackberries and I. We have an understanding.

They’ll teach me while I prune. And someday, I’ll be more like a blackberry.

♡ Annie


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