Pruning dead wood

By Glynn Harris

I am proud of my country roots. Having been reared out on the rural route, my brother, sister and I learned lessons from nature folks raised up around concrete and high-rise buildings never get to experience.

One of the lasting lessons we learned from our mom is the availability of the bounty of nature that is there for the taking.
Special memories of blackberry cobbler and mayhaw jelly are prominent in my mental vault.

Of all the wild edibles out there that is my hands-down favorite — the huckleberry — is undoubtedly the best. Huckleberry jam and pies my mom made were to die for.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered half a dozen or so wild huckleberry bushes growing next to my yard. For the past several years, we have enjoyed succulent pies that took me back to my growing-up days.

I have noticed that of the several bushes at the edge of the yard, one looks exactly like the others with one exception. It has never produced a single huckleberry. It just sits there occupying space, sucking up nutrients from the ground without producing any fruit.

I am reminded of a scripture that applies to such a non-productive plant and what the Bible says should be done.
John 15:1 in part reads … ”I am the True Vine and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit … .” Verse 6 continues this thought …”If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.”

Regarding the bushes that are today bearing fruit, I fertilize, water and pamper so they will keep doing what they’re designed to do. As for the non-productive nutrient-robbing plant, it’s headed for the trash pile.


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