We haven't had any rain for more than a month. None. No rain. Before the 3/4's of an inch we had a month ago, we were having little rain. That is a problem on a sustainable farm because our plants are expected to make it with the advantages we have given them--planting them in the right place and using heritage varieties that have passed the test of time. For the most part, our plants are doing what we are asking of them.
Today we were picking blueberries and I was thinking about these plants and how the fruit compares to last year. The plants look stressed but they are alive. Because they are stressed, the fruit is not as fat as it was last year. I was dissatisfied. And suddenly it hit me. I was judging the fruit by its looks--a lesson I should have learned in high school. Because here is the thing. Looks are not a reliable indicator of quality. The berries are smaller this year but are they less nutritious? Do they have fewer vitamins and minerals? Are they lower in quality? I suspect that the struggles they are facing have done for the fruit what struggles do for all of us. They make is even better. I would put my blueberries up against any acai fighting its way to survival anywhere in the world.