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You are a murderer (and a failure)

You kill plants. You’ve done it before, and you’ll do it again.

You kill some through neglect, and others through overwatering, overfeeding. Trying too hard.

Some you kill by introducing them into an environment where they simply can’t survive. Some are doing fine until you step on them, or accidentally push a lawnmower over them.

Some are killed by random acts of nature - but you planted them, so why didn’t you protect them?

Because you’re a failure. You sow seeds that don’t germinate, transplant and feed starters and saplings only to watch them wither away to nothing.

You’ll only continue to fail.

You’ll watch trees fail to fruit, entire vegetable patches get devoured by fungus, or rodents.

If you feel bad about being a murderer, and a failure, that’s understandable and very normal. But you have to get over it.

Maybe you spend (or have spent) most of your time in an environment where you get most everything right. You write code that runs. You make products that people buy. You cook meals that people eat … at least 80% of the time.

Growing plants does not work like that.

I’m early in my journey of growing food and building soil, so I take every opportunity I can to speak with folks who’ve done it for years. And it’s been frustrating, because the only advice I can seem to get out of them is some variation on:

You just have to plant stuff and see what happens.

There are books and educators out there who will give you tons of very tactical advice on what to plant, when, and how - this is dangerous.

If you’re the type of person who’s used to getting (almost) everything right, you’re probably also the type of person at risk for analysis paralysis. Don’t overthink it:

You just have to plant stuff and see what happens.

These experts contradict each other. You’ll spend months trying to decide who’s right. And then you’ll try to follow their instructions, and it’s very likely that you’ll still be a murderer and a failure.

You just have to plant stuff and see what happens.

“Dead plants” is guaranteed to be one of the things that happens. The point is to find out: what else?

    © 2024 Brian David Hall