Sunday, September 27, 2009
I've spent quite a bit of time in cemeteries recently, so I thought it would be a good contrast to blog about life. In this case, grapevines. Biblically, Christ uses the vine and branches analogy to talk about salvation through Him. I like grapevines because Concord grapes grow native in Massachusetts without being tended. This tree has grapes growing all the way up it's trunk into its branches. I also dislike our local native grapes because they grow too high up in the trees to reach and taste very bitter, and most of the grape is comprised of seed (I, like many others, am spoiled by a history of eating only seedless grapes).
However, I am sure these hearty native plants have good uses. For wine, or jam, or something that involves straining out the seeds and adding lots of sugar. So, I read how to start my own vines (since the current vines are somewhat inaccessible due to their height in the trees). Evidently, all one needs to do is cut out a piece of vine about a the thickness of a pencil and a foot long, and stick it in the ground in the fall. In the spring, it will sprout into its own vine and grow leaves. This method only has a 50% success rate, so you want to try it with twice as many vines as you want to grow. Once you realize that it has successfully started, you leave it for a year or so to establish itself and then transplant the vine to the desired location. So, a year from this spring, I should be able to transplant four little grape vines to somewhere of my choosing. I haven't chosen the spot yet, but I have a year to figure that out, and built my mother an arbor for them to grow on. Definitely a long term, but low maintenance project.
Unfortunately, this whole way of growing new vines doesn't work with Christs analogy, unless you're pluralistic. I however, am not pluralistic, and soundly ascribe to the idea that to live and bear fruit, the branch must be attached to the vine.
As you recall from my blackberry bush writings, as well as this example, it's a good thing that there's a difference between biology and theology.