Saturday, June 21, 2014

Thinning

One of the garden skills I've been working on for the past couple of years is thinning. 

I'm really good at sowing a lot of seed and then it comes up all green and beautiful and I get really excited about growing food and then I get radishes and carrots that are the size of toothpicks.  

It took a concentrated effort to actually Pull Some Up so that the others would have room to flourish.  

It's totally a life lesson for me.  

Aside from dying inside every time I have to pull up a perfectly OK start of lettuce or arugula or radishes or beets or carrots or .... everything,  I get stuck at trying to decide exactly which ones must go.   

I finally developed a system where first I figure out how much room I want between plants in the end, then I identify the best plants so I can keep them and then I pull up the extras.    Tiny greens [micro greens] can go into salads if you don't want to waste the starts, or they can go into the chickens or on the compost heap.   No waste.  

I've been doing better lately and have grown the best radishes in the history of radishes.   Also, I have a row of gorgeous parsips now.    Also carrots.    Also lettuce.    My garden is producing better produce.  

Which is why I'm sucking it up and applying the thinning lesson to other areas of my life.    It's still a struggle.   I hate to pull things up.    I have trouble deciding which things should go.   When the feeling hits me I take advantage and thin what's in front of me and try not to worry about the rest.  I think very slowly, so I figure it's OK to thin slowly, too.  

Along the way, there are people who fuss at my choices and I'm learning how to ignore them.    It's flattering to be asked to do things, but it's not always good for me or the family.    Adjustments must be made.    I'm doing my best to adjust and so must everyone else. 

In the end, the adjustments will pay off and we'll have more room to flourish.

4 comments:

  1. YES!!! I'm proud of you (on all thinning counts). I can't thin. I just can't do it. So I have learned to sow thinly and leave everything be. Once, I sowed SINGLE TOMATILLO SEEDS. You've seen a tomatillo seed. . That...that period. That's the size of a tomatillo seed. I basically just went with it. I assumed that the seed was there and patted down the soil. And lo, I grew tomatillos. Sometimes ya gotta trust that the seed is sown...

    Speaking of thinning in other areas, I just got another guitar. I guess I could collect silly things like antique can openers or ceramic unicorns... but there is no way anyone could refer to guitars as tchotchkes. Right? I hate tchotchkes.

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    1. Guitars are definitely not tchtchkes. I dreamed just last night about you and your guitars. You let me play one of yours [acoustic] and it made the most beautiful music in the history of ever. It had magic strings. Which begs the question - Do you really have magic strings on your acoustic guitar[s]? If so, I want some, too.

      Sowing thinly is an excellent strategy! I'm getting better at that, too. I've heard you can mix sand with your fine seed, then sow that and it takes care of the overplanting problem.

      I think my basic problem is a scarcity mentality instead of an abundance mentality, but that's a whole 'nother blog. [Not blog post.....blog.]

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  2. Thinning is a life lesson! I learned it as figuring out that I only need ENOUGH. I don't need the biggest cucumber crop in history, just enough! Ditto yarn, CDs, clothes, as well as demands on our time that we just do not enjoy. A huge cucumber crop means more and more canning (I still have 20 quarts of pickles from 2013 so I am clearly still learning this lesson - how many pickles do I think we can eat for pete's sake!) So I am working on having enough that lets me have more time with my husband, family and ponies doing what makes us all happy and content!

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  3. Great post! You're right--figuring out what needs to go in order to make room in your life is hard, but worthwhile, work.

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