Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Stumps & Seeds

One of my recent chores has been to dig up some stumps in the back of our yard. It has been hot, hard work. Kind of reminded me of some entrepreneurial endeavors.

1. It looked easier up front than it turned out to be.
2. Proper tools help. Maybe draft animals too (but I didn't have any).
3. There are many tangled roots below the surface.
4. It took much longer than expected.
5. Some people observed that it was "stupid" and that someone else could do it better than I.
6. In the end, it felt really good to finish the task.

So, why dig out stumps? Well, to ready ground to plant seeds. See, to get things to grow, you sometimes need to prepare things, make an area more fertile and receptive. Experts have told me that vegetables and berries won't grow very well among old stumps. I have a few ideas for planting seeds as well.

1. Choose varieties well suited to local conditions. Consult with experienced people/experts.
2. Diversity is good ... Monoculture isn't the name of the game.
3. Keep an eye out for weeds and pests that could weaken your garden/culture.
4. Don't overwater or overfertilize. You need deep roots and resiliance. Never know when you might get a dry spell.
5. Transplants are tough to establish and very tender at first. Often better to start things from seed and let them grow.
6. Overall, there is a natural level of growth. Mess with this, and you may kill it, or it may not bear fruit.
7. Sometimes it is fun to experiment with hybrids and cross fertilization. But it doesn't always work, and sometimes the offspring revert.
8. Critters often get the low hanging fruit. And birds the rest. But we keep trying because there is nothing quite like enjoying something you helped grow from the start.

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