All around the world this year, we have seen crazy weather patterns. From the last of Boston’s 110.6 inches of snow finally melting from their “snow farm” on July 14 to record breaking heat in Berlin, Germany of 102 degrees Fahrenheit this August, the conditions are hard to predict. My little neck of the woods was no different in its oddity this year. Pat and I live north of Fort Collins, Colorado, and have a ¼ acre vegetable garden and a few fruit trees. (The fruit trees didn’t make it through the bizarre November 2014 weather of 14 degrees below, but that is a topic for another day.) It is the spring rains of 2015 that I am not sure anyone in this arid climate would have expected.
Following the seed company recommendations, Pat planted our usual crops that are Northern Colorado friendly. And then came the spring rains. At first we thought, “how wonderful, we won’t have to water.” But the saying “too much of a good thing” does come to mind. The seeds didn’t sprout. If you dug down a little, you would see that the seeds were moldy. So – Pat replanted most of the garden. And then more rain came. Anyone living in Northern Colorado might have had thoughts regarding building an arc as much as building a green house.
Again, the seeds were not sprouting. By now, it is getting to be pretty far into the growing season. I thought maybe it was time to rely on purchasing our produce for the year. But, Pat had perseverance on his mind. He bought starter plants for crops we usually can start from seeds and bought more tomato plants and tried one more time. Eureka. His perseverance paid off.
As for the division of labor for our garden, Pat does most of the heavy lifting, planting, weeding and irrigating of our garden. My inclinations and skills lean more toward the harvesting and cooking, pickling, and freezing of breads and soups from the bounty, reminiscent of my Grandmother in Kansas except that she and Grandpa relied on the produce more than those of us with a King Soopers only 7 minutes away.
It is now August and our harvest has been so abundant that I have had to learn 4 new soup recipes, a new bread recipe and how to pickle cucumbers in our deep freezer. And we still have enough to share with friends and neighbors.
I believe the lesson this is teaching me this year, is to not allow one or even two setbacks to change what you know to be the path or goal for yourself. Sure, in the short run, abandoning the garden after the second seed planting would have made less work for us, but what other benefits would we have missed out on? Sharing with friends, eating really good zucchini bread, having soups already prepared for a cold winter day, to name a few. What about missing out of the self-reliance of gardening, the truly “getting back to nature” that so many of us say we want and the ultimate in local sourcing? I really enjoy the surprise gift like quality of seeing what is ready to be picked and the seemingly miracle of how fast and big zucchini grow!
When we are trying to create other projects in our lives, whether it is a more peaceful and serene inner self or writing a book or designing a new class, we need to remember the perseverance of seed planting. It may take more attempts to get yourself in the right frame of mind, or the right energetic level than you had originally hope for, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t on the right track. If there is frustration along the way, don’t focus on the failed attempts, focus on the harvest, the vision, the goal to keep yourself motivated. Dory from Disney’s Finding Nemo probably said it best. “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim.” This is the Power of Perseverance.