Sunday, August 28, 2011

Thinning a necessary evil

In the spring, I sprinkle little  packets of hope in my garden and cover them with a cozy blanket of soil. Then with time, water and warmth they sprout. Hundreds of tiny plant babies reaching up with their little leafy arms begging for my attention and love.

Crowded together in the rows each one cries out for my attention. I know I need to thin them out. Some must be sacrificed so that the ones who remain can grow big and tasty.
I hate thinning if you haven't guessed.
Every spring I vow to do a better job. Keeping the spacing right when I plant instead of just flinging seeds into the row and waiting to see what happens would help. However, each spring I am ceased by doubt. Will all the seeds grow, will any of the seeds grow? Doubt leads to more seed throwing.

The result: I have hundreds of needy little seedlings vying for my attention.

This year I did better in the thinning department. I managed to thin the carrots and beets. We ate some of the beet greens and sent all the rest of the thinnings out to the Red Wattles for a snack. Knowing we were "up- cycling" the thinnings into yummy Red Wattle pork made it easier.

There was no denying that thinning resulted in bigger beets this year and we actually got a few gourmet baby carrots for the dinner table. A feat never managed by me in the past.

So next spring look out! I am going to fearlessly thin, selecting only the strongest and healthiest seedlings. Unless it looks like the seed might not all grow...

Oh what to do, what to do?

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