Picking which traditions to keep

Last month, all set with a ladder, a couple of buckets and an army (or, three) of little blonde-haired kids we set out to pillage our neighbor’s cherry tree (with their permission of course).

I should note: My husband would be the expert cherry-picker of the clan, having grown up with two bountiful Montmorency trees in his back yard.

I began to fill my bucket as he set off to fill his, both of us with plenty of extra “help.” Before long he noticed I hadn’t been leaving stems on. (I mean, why would I? They’d quickly be frozen or, better yet, in a fresh cherry pie!)

“My mom was always very particular about leaving them on,” he said. “I guess they keep better that way.”

That didn’t sound like a good enough explanation to me, so I kept picking my way and he his way. My bucket was filled much quicker.

Later I was chatting with my mother-in-law, telling her what an “adventure” the kids thought cherry picking was and asking about her pie recipe. Just before we hung up, she said, “Oh and when you pick cherries don’t leave the stems on.”

Stifling a laugh, I listened on: “Growing up on our home farm we had all kinds of cherry trees and Mom always insisted we leave the stems on. So that’s what I always did. But a few years ago I read that it’s better for the tree if you don’t.”

Moral of the story: Whether in cherry picking or cattle ranching, it’s okay to question tradition to make sure it still makes sense.

Do you have anything you’re doing just because it’s the way mom or dad always did it? Any of those traditions you brought with good reason? We’d love to hear about it!

May your bottom line be filled with black ink,


blackinkmiranda Visit Website
I love God, my kids, my hubby, rural life, agriculture and working for CAB. I’m officially the director of producer communications, which basically means I get to learn from lots of smart people and pass that information along to lots of other smart people: you. I’m so lucky to work with cattle producers and other folks in this great industry. (Oh, and one more job perk? I get to eat lots of really yummy beef.)
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