Fail! Fail! Fail!
Why, then, do I keep at it?
I keep at it because I get excited about what I learn. For some reason, I was blessed with a great deal of optimism. I hope. Eternally. Continually. I get excited at the potential, at the prospect of success. I love the idea that I don't have to accept the fail as an absolute and that I can build on it to hopefully have another chance later on. I keep trying.
My mother taught me that no matter what I try to do, if I keep at it long enough, I will get better and better at it until one day I will succeed. (Maybe that's why I have 12 kids. Hmmmm.) She taught me that if I stick to what I'm working at, no matter how many times I fail, the only real failure is quitting.
She also taught me a love for learning. I love to see what happens if....
What would happen if I plant tomatoes in buckets?
|Can you grow a tomato in a bucket? Who knew?|
|Tasty, tasty, yum, yum|
What would happen if I took a bunch of 10-year-old pinto beans off the pantry shelf and planted them?
|10-year-old beans, sprouting through the mulch. Who knew they would grow?|
|Same beans, three weeks later. Very happy beans.|
What would happen if I planted these Armenian cucumber seeds?
|Happy grandkids with two cucumbers.|
What would happen if I placed an ad on CraigsList asking for someone to give me free manure?
|Careful what you ask for. You may end up with a load of poop!|
|Grandkids make the best manure helpers.|
What would happen if...?
My tomatoes in buckets were a great big success, for me. My wife didn't really like the tomatoes, too small, tougher skin than she likes, funny shapes and colors, whatever. But I proved to myself that I could do it. I learned about how to combat blossom end rot. I learned a great deal about amending growing media with garden lime. I learned that I can make a portable garden and have it actually produce. All that and I got to eat dozens and dozens of really great tasting tomatoes fresh from the plants. I got to share some of them with my coworkers in my office. And I had fun.
Did they all thrive? No way. Am I going to do it again? You better believe it. Was it more fun that it should have been? Absolutely. Many of them are just cruising through the hot months of July and August. Since I've placed them in the shade of some trees so they don't get fried by the merciless Southern Nevada sunshine, they've actually begun putting out new growth, very lush and very green. I'm hoping for a great fall crop when the heat breaks at the end of the month. That'll be fun, too.
I wonder if I can keep some of them producing until Thanksgiving. Hmmmm.
My family and I have been working on getting the beds ready for a great fall garden. We've been tilling in compost and manure and stuff. I've been working on the irrigation system. I've drafted a plan for planting and have purchased nearly all of the seeds. (I wonder where I'll be able to get 135 garlic bulbs. I'm gearing up for more than 2000 garlic plants, a real "farm crop" experiment.) And I keep getting more and more excited about the whole thing.
With all my failures (onions, birdhouse gourds, pumpkins, watermelons, beets, etc., etc., etc.) I could be pretty discouraged, but I'm not. I'm very optimistic. I can't wait to get back into the garden again this afternoon. I really spend too much time out there. It's cutting into my television viewing schedule. Fail!
|Hope, springing forth.|
As long as I keep plodding along, keep trying and don't give up, I figure I'll make it someday. Somebody will refer to me (in a favorable light, of course) as "that guy with the garden. Go ask him." That's what I'm looking forward to.
I'm even planning on coming up with a few entries for the County Fair next April. That ought to be a real hoot!