California, WWOOFing

like a cabbage patch, but for strawberries

I find gardening and yardwork very rewarding. There are some tasks that I dislike doing (like weeding), but I still manage to motivate myself to do because I understand and revel in the benefits (like not having weeds and getting the good stuff to grow). Other tasks, though, are right up my alley. One of which, I found out, is pruning strawberries. Behold, the strawberry patch:

strawberrypatch

Before my WWOOFing experience, I had not pruned one strawberry plant in my entire life. I’ve picked lots of strawberries and enjoyed the deliciousness that is strawberry pie, fresh strawberry ice cream, strawberry shortcake and my most favorite dessert of all time (aside from the birthday limoncello cake): chocolate-covered strawberries.

Pruning strawberries would round out my strawberry experience, I think, as it’s the work that must be done in order to encourage the plants to bear fruit, lots of it. Fruit that I like to eat, lots of it. What appeals to me about this process is rejuvenating the plants from carrying old, brown leaves and stems to looking lush, green and ready to thrive. Seeing a whole row this way is incredibly satisfying. However, getting a whole row to that point is backbreaking work, let me tell you. If my body would let me, I’d do the work day and night, but the body only lasts so long, so things get accomplished in smaller bits.

And this is where I learned very clearly the benefits of taking breaks (without guilt), stretching and taking a moment (or moments) to breathe, take a walk, move the bones, become aware of the day. This was as satisfying as doing the work, which then became a nice, peaceful balance. This is a lesson I’ve carried with me since, and something I seek to maintain in my daily life.

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