“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson
Today, for the first time, all three of my kids went to school for the full day. It was also the first time since school holidays started in December, I had the opportunity to sit quietly, without interruption, and get all the plans swirling around in my head down on paper and and make a plan for the coming year.*
So I have gone through my usual ritual of making a list of goals and then whittling them into their smaller, do-able tasks and actions.
But I realised, I have one very simple goal to strive for in 2013.
Just keep planting.
Told you it was simple!
I can explain….
I tend to do all my planting and harvesting in a bit of a flourish. I usually plan what to plant quarterly, rushing to get all the planting done in the first fortnight of spring, summer, autumn, winter. Beds are stripped bare all at once as a harvest finishes. I then tend to over plant the bereft space, in an attempt to compensate.
Being a bit new to the whole urban farming thing, I just thought that’s how it was done. I would hasten to get beds planted to capacity only to wait impatiently for everything to grow until glut-harvest time. Which is silly really. I’m not a commercial grower who needs to get produce to market. If anything, I need to do the opposite, and make sure there is enough ripening to eat each day.
So that’s the plan. Plant a little every week. It is almost embarrassingly obvious. I am going to change my planting pace from sprint to sashay…. But hopefully this new approach will help with the continuity of harvest and aesthetic in my garden, with fewer boom-and-bust-beds. I am also keen to spread the labour and cost required out to a much more manageable and pleasurable load. Also, if a plant bed takes a hammering from bad weather or pests, there is an opportunity to plant something else straight away.
Even in the heat of summer, I should still be able to manage raising robust varieties suitable to plant. Right now, there is plently of space in the greenhouse to nurture new plants. There is also still plenty of space to plant in the garden. The only downside of my new “just keep planting” mantra is that I may suffer a glut of seedlings every now and then.
But, that’s not really a problem is it? I have friends who love free plants. The kids have vegetable gardens at school.
What’s your big (or little!) garden goal for 2013? I would love to hear it, please leave a comment below.
* For those of you thinking “Pppffftttt! She could write anytime, with three kids at home!” Yes, that’s exactly what I thought too.
I actually woke at 5:30 most mornings during the school holidays to give the garden an early morning drink before the sun burned both the plants and me!
As it happens, keeping a small posse of kids entertained, fed and watered really is a full time job. If I did find a moment of peace and unfurl a laptop/iPad/iPhone, I would be hassled relentlessly to share and play games instead. Plus, you probably can’t call it “supervision” when kids are running naked through the house with paint, helping themselves to dry weetbix from the pantry while I attempted to ignore the squealing and write in my study. After feeling irritated for about a week that I hadn’t written anything, I realised I would be ten times happier just rolling with the kids.
So I did. And I was.