The value of Perseverance on the Farm
Farming is rarely easy. It is at times back breaking, exhausting, emotionally draining and stressful. At others it is exhilarating, uplifting and gives one a sense of accomplishment rarely found anywhere else.
Our gardens this year have been a real exploration in perseverance. When we set out to straw mulch the gardens, we had an idea of how it would work and what troubles we would face. It should be pretty simple: lay down a layer of straw, pull it back in sections to make ‘beds’ and it should reduce weeding and help with water retention. Overall, I’d say it was pretty successful; except for a couple lessons we’ve learned, like making sure the straw is thick enough to suppress the weeds and the possible wheat that may ‘volunteer’ through it. We’ve also learned that planting in rotations is really important, and making sure we follow each crop with another that will help support its growth in the end.
Some things failed this year: 2 plantings of carrots failed, the winter squash was killed by frost and some of the coloured beets just didn’t produce the way they should. But, we did not give up.
This is probably the most important lesson we can teach Georgia & Sawyer through the farm and through our current times. Just because something does not turn out the way you thought it would, it is no reason to throw in the towel, throw a ‘hissy-fit’ and quit. Try again, in a different way, and appreciate the moment for what it was: a chance to explore new ways of solving problems and testing the limits of what you might know or being willing to try.
This lesson can be applied to so many things in life and it is our hope that they will learn through the farm, how to better address those moments of failure and disappointment they will inevitably face in life.
So as they watch us try new things, adjust our practices and thinking on the farm, I truly hope they begin to appreciate perseverance for what it is: a chance to explore, a chance to fail, and a chance to try, try again.