being free

I like being free. I like the way it feels.

10 March 2011

lessons from the garden - part ii

Now that you've got the foundation strengthened your ready for the next step. Some may say it's planting, but I say it's planning. Planning is actually the very first step in gardening. Testing and amending the soil should be the first action step in your plan. But now that we are onto planting, we definitely need a plan. The plan helps you answer questions like: What are you going to plant? Where are you going to plant it? And when do you need to plant it?

Answering the what are you going to plant question helps you determine your crops. You've got to know what your going to plant before you plant it. Not all plants will grow in all climates. Different breeds grow better in the North than they do in the South. You will also want to determine what kinds of seeds to plant, will they be organic, conventional, hybrid or heirloom?

Next you have to determine where your going to plant. You want to avoid planting the same crop in the same location year after year. Instead you want to rotate your crops. Crop rotation is important for disease resistance as well as nutrient availability. There are a variety of opinions on how one should rotate crops. The one I've found to be simple and easy to remember is rooting, fruiting, vegging, and resting. You have one plot for rooting vegetables, one for fruiting, one for vegetative (leafy greens), and one for resting (nothings grown but a cover crop, which I will talk about another time). Every year you rotate these four plots.

After you determine the what and where you need to know when. Different crops grow better at different times of the season. Peas, onions, carrots, and spinach can be planted early, while tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers need to be planted later. To maximize your growing season you'll want to get the "when" question right.

One last thing to note, in the planning stage it's important to do your homework. Study, read, and inquire about what to plant, where to plant it, and when. The more research you do the more likely your are to succeed. As Proverb 15:22 says "Plans fail for lack of council, but with many advisers they succeed."

Now for the principle, if you haven't guessed it already: don't proceed before you've planned. If I could add to that I'd say, don't proceed before you have a well informed plan. That's the principle. One that I've missed a time or two....

Take for example starting a church. There is a lot that goes into starting a church. You need to do a lot of research. You need to have a plan for whose it going to be done with, what it's going to look like, where your going to do it, when it's going to take place, and how it's going to be done. Who, what, where, when, and how are the foundational questions for any planning endeavor.

So, what are you trying to accomplish? Maybe you want to start a business, get married, go to school, or start a garden. Do you have a well informed plan? A well informed plan is a key to success.


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