I’ve been getting lots of entertaining comments about everyone’s bogey vegetables in response to my post earlier this week, but one in particular stuck out. It was from the author of the Paid in Chickens blog and said:
‘This is our first year on the lottie so it’s good to hear people’s failings as well.’
This got me thinking, especially where Twitter and blogs are concerned. Those of us who have been growing for a while have learned tips and skills that minimise crop failures, and we’re really quick to stick up photos of beautiful, bountiful veg.
However, I’ve been growing seven years now, and stuff still goes wrong regularly. Every year I suffer a pest (last year was cabbage white), something fails to grow, or the harvest is poor. We tackle the weather too, which is not only completely out of our control, but entirely unpredictable too.
I don’t necessarily talk about it much though. I mean, who really wants to talk about crap cauliflowers and or rubbish red cabbage?
Celebrate Those Failings!
But PiC’s comment made me realise that failings are worth talking about too. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that failings are worth celebrating. When I first started out, it was reassuring to see other people with a few failed crops.
Oddly, this helped me build my confidence. I wasn’t entirely useless at GYO. Other people, both beginners, and experts alike, had problems with some crops too. We could talk about these failings, and share tips about how to solve them, both at the plot and on the web.
Invaluable for a Beginner
For a beginner, this is invaluable. Just this week I spoke to someone whose runners and tomatoes have started to sulk outside in the coldish weather. It was great to be able to reassure them that there is still time to re-sow and get a good crop, and actually, now is probably a better time anyway!
So I suppose the moral of this rather waffly blog post is that we should be proud of our failures. They’re a great help to us and fellow growers, and every bit as important as our successes.
They happen to us all, however, experienced we are. If you’re new to allotments and some things don’t work out, don’t worry one jot. For every one of your frostbitten seedlings, I’ll raise you ten stumpy carrots.
Celebrate and enjoy the good stuff, and have a laugh about the let-downs. It’s meant to be fun, after all.