Monday, July 21 (continued)
We wander out of the garden and to the side of the road where wild
blackcap bushes are growing. They are a favorite. Theyre meaty
and sweet, not quite as tangy as a raspberry. But thorny, ouch.
I pick about a quarter cup of black caps off two bushes and then
start on the raspberries. I suspect that experienced berry pickers
are faster, because it takes me an entire hour to pick the requisite
two cups that MaryJane asked for.
Im glad to find MaryJane a very patient teacher. She tells
me what to do and leaves me to my own accord.
Im glad to find MaryJane a very patient
teacher. She tells me what to do and leaves me to my own accord.
And I make the most delicious raspberry and black cap breakfast
puff. Its wonderful. And it goes great with the campfire coffee
that MaryJane makes in honor of my caffeine habit.
Where you have food, you have dishes. Its a calm and quiet
task that involves playing in the water and doing something thats
useful at the same time. Just like cooking and eating outdoors,
washing dishes takes on a peaceful air in the Plum Pit.
When its time to weed the garden, MaryJane leads me to the
Pump House where the garden tools are stored, all hung neatly on
the wall and in their place. MaryJane selects two hoes; not just
ordinary hoes, but Amish hoes. She explains that this Amish hoe
is lighter weight and the head is shorter than a traditional hoe.
Also the sides are sharp. We take our hoes to the workshop for a
brief sharpening lesson.
MaryJanes rules on tools are: 1) never skimp on tools
buy the best; 2) always put your name on tools; and 3) keep them
sharp, and always keep a file in your pocket while working in the
garden so you can knock off the edges and keep the going smooth.
MaryJane says she doesnt use a bench grinder for sharpening
garden tools because grinders tend to overheat the metal, compromising
the tempering. That weakens the tool. She walks to the back wall
of the shop and picks out two files for the job. MaryJane clamps
her hoe into a bench vise to hold it steady for sharpening. She
starts filing across the cutting edge to unravel any burrs and to
check the straightness of the edge. Then cutting into the bevel,
she files at it in short strokes, then longer. Soon all edges are
well filed and the hoe is sharp, really sharp. So, she hands the
file to me and its my turn. I learn quickly to pay close attention
when MaryJane shows me something, because the next time it is done,
Ill be on my own.