being free

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

13 April 2011

lessons from the garden - part iii

After you’ve amended your soil and planned your garden, you’re ready to plant. Planting can be done a couple different ways. You can direct seed (sow directly into the ground) or you can transplant (sow into flats then once established transplant into the garden). Some plants do better when directly seeded, like carrots, beets, corn, peas, beans, and spinach. Others do better as transplants, like tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, and cabbage. It is important to remember that if you are transplanting greenhouse grown seedlings you need to “harden off” your plants. Seedlings grown in a greenhouse are not as rugged as plants sown in the garden. Greenhouse grown plants do not have the same resistance to wind, rain, and strong sun.

You can begin hardening off a week before planting by placing them outside during the day while putting them inside during the night. You may also want to put them in a shady place the first couple days. It will take a few days for the plants to bear up under the harsh outdoor conditions. If you plant seedlings directly into the ground without first hardening them off the stress of the transplant and the harsh elements may take your seedlings out! It is better to take it slow. Lastly, when seeding and planting you will want to take note of the recommended spacing. Spacing plants to closely can limit growth and spacing them too far apart is an inefficient use of space.

So what’s the principle here? Well, I’d say it’s that artificial environments do not produce real world results. Artificial environments have their place, but one needs to take into consideration “real world” variables which may shock, weaken, or possible destroy a product.

Have you ever heard of the merry go round water pump? It was a test tube idea. The idea was to create merry go round water pumps for rural third world populations. The pump drew water as children played on the merry go round. Sounds like a good idea. In reality it was a complete failure. I mean, think about it, how many times can a kid go around a merry go round before he/she throws up? A merry go round is a temporary play devise. It is not something kids play on all the time. In the end, kids were either forced to pump the water or women from the village walked in circles like livestock to draw water. This was an idea that wasn’t “hardened off”. It was not tested against real world variables. In the end, it failed.

Maybe you are an “idea” person. If so, test them out first before you jump in head over heels. Put your idea up against the harsh reality of our world. Does it stand up under pressure? Is it real world hardy? Give it a try and see what happens. As the scripture 19:2 says “It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way.”


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