I launched a new series to share some of the things that make me, well, — me! I started off talking about my entrepreneurial mindset. But combined with that has been a desire to grow things. I do some flowers but it is growing food that I really enjoy.
Answering the challenge
For me gardening is a challenge, not only to grow things but to use as many natural ways of doing that as possible. I have two compost bins in the back yard and though they are being used, I am still learning about composting effectively. I have gardened most of my life and there have only been a few times where I lived somewhere that didn’t have a garden.
Right after we were married, Bill was transferred by KMart to upper Minnesota. We ended up in an apartment complex but the owners believed in gardening too and let us use the dirt hill in the backyard to start a garden. Ever one for a challenge, we didn’t dig a new garden area but used the mountain of top soil as our own garden area. I am not sure why we did it but we planted the beans at the top of the hill.
Our current yard has its own challenges because the whole yard is on a hill. There are multiple different slopes and so we compensated by creating four different sections to the garden and then we use raised bed strategies to compensate for the clay soil. We rotate crops and document the garden plan for the year in a binder.
This passion for growing things translates to everything else I do. I like trying to find natural sources. The store, The Planted Seed, has become a regular part of my shopping experience all year around. Their natural products, from spices to honey to meats make me feel like I am living the right way. During the summer months, I also visit the farmer’s market which also creates that same feeling of natural products and choices.
When thing get out of my control
Gardening has taught me many things. I learn how many things are out of my control. If it rains too much or too little, it affects the plants. If it is too cold, things don’t grow as well. I know what I don’t know too. I asked before I put the wood burning fireplace’s ashes into the garden but soon learned that I didn’t ask the right questions. I found out that I didn’t know that tomatoes don’t like potash (pot ash) and therefore, I had a bad case of blight for many years but that now seems to be abating.
In your career, all of these gardening strategies come into play too. You have to see your career as a challenge and an opportunity to continue to grow. You can’t predict what outside forces will affect your career and every once in awhile, you will make a bad choice and have to adjust.
In gardening, I have learned that the more organized I become, the more likely I will be successful. In your career, preparing in advance will improve your ability to rebound if you do make a wrong choice.