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Beginning Farmer's Mind


Maybe you’ve heard about the value of having beginner’s mind. Not knowing, not having it all figured out, opens us to what’s really going on in this moment. No preconceptions cloud our experience. It’s a way to be more present, more curious, more alive. But what about when you know you’re a beginner and things all go wrong?!


I’ve started about four flats of seedlings at the farm this year. Set up a germination chamber, lights, heating pad, humidity from a crock pot, under a plastic tent in front of a big east facing windows.


Over a week or so in April, the first flat, full of brassicas and a bit of chard, were hardened off outside the back door of the farmhouse on the sunny deck,


I protected them from wind, watered religiously, and mostly remembered to bring them in at night. “Hello Osaek, Can you bring in those plants? Thanks”


I planted them all on Thursday, took their picture, and on Friday morning saw a bit of frost, and sure enough the chard had turned to mush, kale & collards ok, broccoli and Brussels sprouts were fine, thanks


I came by the farm on Monday and all I had planted was dead, killed by frost. Ouch! And second ouch, from a miscommunication, some seedlings inside got cooked! Ouch!


Then what beautiful sunny weather at the start of May, and dry, perfect for getting a new garden bed made. Hard work, all the shoveling, maybe I’ll take a break and check on the trees we planted dormant a month earlier. Uh Oh, a lot of dead trees! Ouch!


As a beginner I am curious how we can improve our farming practices, save more living beings, especially brassicas, don’t worry the tomatoes are fine, and there’s more kale seedlings, more tree yearlings; multiple strategies, that’s the permaculture way. Still ouch, but okay. Okay.


Anyway I’d like to learn from my mistakes with plants and people and all beings. I can learn from the hurts I cause and also the hurts I don’t cause but am part of, am connected to, the suffering I witness. I can learn from mistakes and all experience, if and when I am open and clear.


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