Why One-Thing-Leads-To-Another?

Why one-thing-leads-to-another? Much of what we do in the garden has resulted because of something else we did earlier in the garden. Let me explain. We tend not to buy from mainstream nurseries in part because they rarely have the kinds of off-the-path plants that interest us but also because they are expensive. Notwithstanding, this year in July our local supermarket had serviceberry bushes on sale for 50% off so we bought the four that he had. They sat at the end of the driveway because we had no place to put them. After a few days, the garden talked to us and we decided to widen a path that leads from the orchard to the raised beds from about 3′ to about 12′ and plant the serviceberry bushes on either side. And that gave us a home for five highbush cranberries, 7 blueberries, and 5 gojis, all of which had been stuck here and there around the garden because we didn’t really have an idea of where we wanted them when we bought them. Now we have a Berry Walk.

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4 Responses to Why One-Thing-Leads-To-Another?

  1. Patrick says:

    This is the story of everything that happens in my garden.

    I think it’s also how small farms are built, often for generations. It’s why it’s such a catastrophe that on one hand we dismiss small farms as unimportant, and allow their destruction in favor of large monoculture farms. Now, a few decades on, we start missing some of these smaller farms and talk about bringing them back. What a disaster.

    • MikeH says:

      Hi Patrick,

      I think that our dismissing small farms as unimportant is a function of where we are on a historical path. Right now they are considered to be archaic and inefficient and thus unimportant but things often change in an instant. I’ll use the 2008 (and probably ongoing) financial mess as an example. People were spooked enough to start vegetable gardens. How many? I don’t know what I do know is that vegetable seed sales exploded in the US in 2009 and in the UK in 2008. Was this a permanent change? Probably not entirely. But the next system shock whether financial, energy, health, weather, etc., will see more of the same. Basically, we react after events have occurred rather than before they occur, no matter that the occurrence is a virtual certainty. And we react in proportion to our perception of how serious the event is.

      I have friends who have vegetable gardens in community gardens. They are happy and naively think that they’re on the perceived right path. What they don’t see yet is that they’ve taken the first step of many that they’ll need to take to be on the right path. Not too many will move further along the path without a shove by some external event(s). And why should they? It’s a lot of hard work that never stops. I view growing vegetables as a closed circle. You acquire the seed. You plant it (some but not all of the seed). You harvest the crop. You save the seed. You preserve the harvest to take you through the season when the weather isn’t suitable for growing vegetables. The next year you plant some but not all of the seed you saved from the previous year. And so on and so on – the circle. But I didn’t have that view even two years ago. Digging in the dirt and thinking a lot about what you are doing and the consequences can really give you a different perspective. And doing it as much as you can with hand-tools is really an eye-opener. It’s a lot of hard, sweaty effort that gives you a new appreciation for supermarkets and convenience foods. I’m not advocating for either but I do have an appreciation for them that I didn’t use to have.

      So I think the current farm catastrophe is temporary because corporate agriculture/distribution is very fragile because it is oil based. It’s not so much that we run out of oil but rather that the price escalates for whatever reason at a pace that is faster that the ability to adjust to higher prices. The risk is that we destroy prime agricultural land by using it for residential, commercial or industrial purposes. Having the land used for corporate monoculture is far better because it is still agricultural.

      I’m actually far less pessimistic than I was a few years ago even though people are doing very little to change things. I think they will when conditions and/or events change their perception of how secure their life is. The risk is that we pass some kind of a tipping point before people’s perceptions change.

      Mike

  2. jj says:

    I came across your blog through a friend. Just wanted to say – great blog! Your resource pages for Canadian sources are fantastic.

    • MikeH says:

      Hello jj,

      Thank you for your kind words. We’ve both found it fun to write. We meet some great folks this way and discover new ideas. Glad that you find the Cdn resource pages helpful.

      Regards,
      Mike

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