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Am I a "Bad Farmer"?

Warning: This post is going to start off sounding like I’m complaining, but bear with me for a moment because it does turn around.


To begin, I have a history with being frustrated with starting seeds. I’ve tried and failed so many times and each time I can’t help but wonder: “Am I just a bad farmer?” I mean, isn’t that what a farmer does? Grow things? If I can’t even get the seed to germinate, how do I expect to get the plants to grow, and bloom, and then sell them? Gosh, these fears really do start to stack up!


But how quickly I do forget. I recently had a spurt of gumption—or delusion—and decided to sow some more seeds, just for the heck of it! I mixed and sifted my potting soil, made my little soil blocks, and placed them so perfectly in the tray so they wouldn’t topple over. When making soil blocks, everything has to be just so; they’re not for the faint of heart. And once that was all set, I began to sow the seeds. Of course, I can’t be satisfied with growing flowers that have large seeds, oh no, I must fall in love with poppies and snapdragons.

Here is a very special packet of seeds from Dawn Creek Farms that I was very excited to grow!

And like a hunched over mad scientist, I get to work with my toothpick, placing each seed ever so gingerly on each soil block. It was beautiful! I could feel the seeds come to life with each one that I placed. Visions of the bounty that would spring from each block. Buckets of blooms! I would be drowning in flowers in no time! It was perfect!




It rained. Yup, that’s all it took. I left this masterpiece outside and it rained. How dare the skies open up? That one inch of fresh, spring rain washed out my tray of hard work and anticipation.


I ran out to grab the tray, to find that it was now a dirty soupy mess, and brought it inside. Defeated, I called to Brycen to see if he could help figure out a remedy since my mind was much like the state of the tray—an utter mess! I looked to him to see if he could magically rewind the destruction and all would be fine. But no, the best that we could do was filter out as much of the water that we could and pour the saturated soil into a new tray. At best, the seeds would be able to start in that soil, but I wouldn’t know what was what until they started to grow. But it’s better than nothing at all.


In that moment, I realized that I don’t think that being a master seed-starter, or even being a semi-decent seed-starter is what marks a “good farmer” from a “bad” one. But what does make a farmer able to keep going and making new mistakes is being around wonderful people who are there for every step of the way, laughing at the absurdities and doing it all again the next day. Because at the end of the day, I think that being hopeful in the promise of a new day is what makes a farmer a “good” one.

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